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Deterrence and Proliferation

The prospect of completely eliminating nuclear weapons seems distant. In sharp contrast with the pragmatic ambitions outlined by Barack Obama in his 2009 speech in Prague, and even more so with the hopes brought about by the fall of the Berlin Wall, nuclear weapons should no longer be perceived as the symbol of a bygone era. Nuclear disarmament also appears out of step with the deep geopolitical upheavals that characterize the current international order – redistribution of power in favor of emerging countries, uncertain future of the transatlantic relationship, territorial rivalries and destabilization of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East…

Established within Ifri’s Security Studies Center, the Deterrence and Proliferation program intends to stimulate public debate and to further our understanding of the complexity of the nuclear issue in all its dimensions: technical, regional, diplomatic and budgetary. The role of nuclear weapons in national security strategies has to be grasped in relation with shifting balances of military power at the global and regional levels, both for nuclear weapon states and potential candidates to proliferation. To this end, the Deterrence and Proliferation program publishes and circulates reports and analyses on: nuclear postures, strategies and capabilities; multilateral efforts to reduce arsenals and strengthen the non-proliferation regime; and on the development of strategic capabilities closely related to deterrence missions (conventional prompt strategic strikes and ballistic missile defense systems).

Corentin BRUSTLEIN

Research fellow, coordinator of the Security Studies Center and head of the Deterrence and Proliferation program

26/01/2016
By: Linton BROOKS, Tom McKANE

After the world entered the nuclear age, civilian and military organizations have witnessed the slow emergence of nuclear cultures, defined as the set of values and knowledge, shared among the national security community, about the relative importance of nuclear weapons in the country’s...

14/01/2015

About a decade ago, the U.S. started to examine options to develop and acquire Conventional Prompt Global Strike capabilities. This move fits in an effort to conventionalize deterrence, an effort initiated decades before and undertaken for profound and diverse motives. Although it has been...

17/12/2014
By: Richard WEITZ

The use of chemical weapons (CW) in Syria and the decision to award the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reminded the international community that these weapons continue to represent a serious threat. The number of incidents of chemical...

10/06/2014
By: Brad ROBERTS

The strategic value of missile defense remains in considerable debate in Europe but less so in the United States. The rising American consensus in support of BMD follows from its perceptions of a changed and changing security environment since the end of the Cold War and the emergence of a new...

06/03/2014
By: Mustafa KIBAROGLU

This paper discusses Turkey"s attitudes vis-à-vis nuclear weapons and Ballistic Missile Defense in the light of recent developments in the Iranian nuclear program and NATO"s evolving concept of extended deterrence. On the one hand, the long-standing forward deployment of US tactical nuclear...

05/02/2014
By: Łukasz KULESA

Since Poland first expressed its willingness to host a critical part of the US Ballistic Missile Defense architecture, in 2002, the program has undergone several setbacks. Today, while Poland is still expected to host key elements of the US BMD capabilities, contributing to NATO"s territorial...