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Fraught with problems – relationships between small and large nuclear adversaries

Relationships between highly asymmetric nuclear powers, The Strategist , 10 Apr 2018|Rod Lyon  The current tensions between Washington and Pyongyang aren’t just about history. Nor are they simply the result of personal frictions between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. At their core, they reflect the difficulties that typically attend adversarial relationships between two highly asymmetric nuclear powers……..

… If Brodie’s right, a North Korea equipped with ‘a relatively modest number’ of thermonuclear-tipped ICBMs can be almost as effective in deterring the much more amply-equipped US as the US is in deterring the much smaller North Korea. ………
A relationship of mutual nuclear vulnerability between one country with almost no equity in the international order and another with deep equity in the same order wouldn’t be stabilising. Diplomacy might yet find a solution to that problem. But if it doesn’t, we shouldn’t assume that a comfortable, long-term nuclear deterrence relationship will miraculously unfold as a simple, benign alternative.


April 11, 2018 - Posted by | general

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