Forecasting Zero: U.S. Nuclear History and the Low Probability of Disarmament | Nuclear Disarmament | Nuclear Weapons

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A vigorous debate is occurring among American elites with respect to whether and when the United States should relinquish its nuclear weapons. Bolstering hopes for tangible results is that a U.S. President is again publicly and forcefully supporting disarmament. While this debate, which addresses both technical and political factors related to abolition, may be the most serious one of its kind since the dawn of the nuclear age, the future of U.S. nuclear weapons policy remains uncertain. The general approach advanced today in U.S. policy circles largely hews, after all, to the logic of the past 65 years: arms control and nonproliferation now, disarmament at an undetermined time in the future. Moreover, several conceptual and strategic barriers continue to block serious progress toward U.S. disarmament. By situating the current pro-disarmament rhetoric in this larger historical and strategic context, this monograph argues that there is reason to doubt whether the current push for disarmament will produce meaningful and lasting results.
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  Visit our website for other free publicationdownloadshttp://www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil/To rate this publication click here.  STRATEGICSTUDIESINSTITUTE The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is part of the U.S. Army WarCollege and is the strategic-level study agent for issues related tonational security and military strategy with emphasis on geostrate-gic analysis.The mission of SSI is to use independent analysis to conduct strategicstudies that develop policy recommendations on: ã Strategy, planning, and policy for joint and combined employment of military forces; ã Regional strategic appraisals;ã The nature of land warfare;ã Matters affecting the Army’s future;ã The concepts, philosophy, and theory of strategy; andã Other issues of importance to the leadership of the Army.Studies produced by civilian and military analysts concern topicshaving strategic implications for the Army, the Department of De - fense, and the larger national security community.In addition to its studies, SSI publishes special reports on topics of special or immediate interest. These include edited proceedings of conferences and topically-oriented roundtables, expanded trip re - ports, and quick-reaction responses to senior Army leaders.The Institute provides a valuable analytical capability within the Army to address strategic and other issues in support of Army par-ticipation in national security policy formulation.  FORECASTING ZERO:U.S. NUCLEAR HISTORY AND THELOW PROBABILITY OF DISARMAMENT Jonathan PearlNovember 2011 The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reect the ofcial policy or position of the Depart - ment of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Gov - ernment. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications enjoy full academic freedom, provided they do not disclose clas- sied information, jeopardize operations security, or misrepre - sent ofcial U.S. policy. Such academic freedom empowers them to offer new and sometimes controversial perspectives in the in- terest of furthering debate on key issues. This report is cleared forpublic release; distribution is unlimited. ***** This publication is subject to Title 17, United States Code, Sec - tions 101 and 105. It is in the public domain and may not be copy - righted.  ii***** Comments pertaining to this report are invited and shouldbe forwarded to: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. ArmyWar College, 632 Wright Ave, Carlisle, PA 17013-5046. ***** This project was facilitated by the generous nancial and in - stitutional support of the Stanton Foundation, Council on ForeignRelations, and the United States Institute of Peace. A special debtof gratitude is due to George Quester and Shibley Telhami fortheir guidance at all stages of this project. The author addition - ally wishes to thank Mohammed M. Hafez, Jane Pearl, RichardPearl, Amandine Weinrob, and Guy Ziv for their advice and sup - port. Special thanks also are due to Benoît Pelopidas, whose invi - tation to present on the panel “Forecasting Nuclear Proliferationand Disarmament: Theory and Policy” at the 2010 InternationalStudies Association conference provided the initial impetus forthis project, as well as to all the members of that panel for theirconstructive feedback. Needless to say, the opinions expressed herein, as well as any omissions or errors, are the sole responsi- bility of the author. ***** All Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications may bedownloaded free of charge from the SSI website. Hard copies ofthis report may also be obtained free of charge while supplies lastby placing an order on the SSI website. The SSI website addressis: www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil . ***** The Strategic Studies Institute publishes a monthly e-mail newsletter to update the national security community on the re- search of our analysts, recent and forthcoming publications, andupcoming conferences sponsored by the Institute. Each newslet - ter also provides a strategic commentary by one of our research
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