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  • Author: Petr Topychkanov, Lora Saalman
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: This report provides an overview of views on nuclear postures and escalation affecting South Asia, based on 119 research interviews conducted in 2020 with military, nuclear, political and regional experts from India, Pakistan, China, Russia and the United States. The publication also builds on the findings from a virtual workshop that SIPRI hosted on 8 and 9 December 2020 on ‘Nuclear challenges in South Asia: Views from India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the USA’. These discussions revealed a variety of interlocking insights on such issues as no first use, lowered nuclear thresholds, conventional and nuclear entanglement and emerging technologies that are shaping strategic stability. The publication consists of five country-focused sections that explore nuclear postures, strategic technologies and escalatory risks, as well as conclusions that offer building blocks for the next steps on engagement. This report was prepared in the framework of the SIPRI project Assessing Nuclear Deterrence Risks and Challenges in South Asia, generously supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Power, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, China, South Asia, India, United States of America
  • Author: Tytti Erästö
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: This report sheds light on the impact of recent military-technological advancements on nuclear deterrence and disarmament. Noting that progress towards multilateral disarmament is hardly possible without prior and significant reductions in the largest nuclear weapon arsenals, the report views the resumption of bilateral arms control between Russia and the United States as the most important step towards disarmament at the present moment. It argues that these two countries should move away from their cold war era nuclear doctrines, which seek an ability to win nuclear wars, towards a policy of ‘minimal nuclear deterrence’, that is focused on deterring a nuclear attack. In line with doctrinal changes, further cuts in Russian and US nuclear stockpiles could be achieved by removing nuclear weapons from regional conflict dynamics, meaning that they would no longer serve as a deterrent against conventional aggression. Such a change would help to reduce nuclear risks without undermining regional deterrence, as each side already has robust conventional forces comprised of precision-strike weapons and other advanced military systems. At the same time, the report notes that progress towards nuclear disarmament would be complicated by long-range precision-strike weapons and strategic missile defences, which have raised the bar for credible nuclear deterrence by creating uncertainty about US adversaries’ second-strike capabilities. Lowering that bar and eventually reducing the perceived need for nuclear deterrence will require creative arms control diplomacy, including limits on strategic missile defences; stronger norms against both nuclear and conventional aggression; as well as a clear stigma against nuclear weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States of America
  • Author: Peter Topychkanov, Sanatan Kulshrestha, Yanitra Kumaraguru, Malinda Meegoda, Kritika Roy, Saima Aman Sial, Dmitry Stefanovich, Maaike Verbruggen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: This edited volume is the third in a series of three. The series forms part of a SIPRI project that explores regional perspectives and trends related to the impact that recent advances in artificial intelligence could have on nuclear weapons and doctrines, as well as on strategic stability and nuclear risk. This volume assembles the perspectives of eight experts on South Asia on why and how machine learning and autonomy may become the focus of an arms race among nuclear-armed states. It further explores how the adoption of these technologies may have an impact on their calculation of strategic stability and nuclear risk at the regional and transregional levels.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Power, Cybersecurity, Political stability, Disarmament, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, South Asia, India, East Asia, Global Focus