Dating back to the first test in 1964, the Chinese nuclear force modernization process is motivated by other nuclear powers’ modernization across the years, mostly from the United States and the Soviet Union, but also by domestic factors such as economic debates and tensions in the scientific...
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).
The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces on February 24th displays undeniable nuclear attributes. The purpose of this text is to analyze the initial lessons of this conflict, with regard to the balance of forces between nuclear powers.
Arctic: Toward the End of the Exception? Strategic, Nuclear and Maritime Issues in the Region Proliferation Papers, No. 64, April 2022
Through multiple international initiatives, including the creation of the Arctic Council at the end of the Cold War in 1996, the Arctic appears to be one of the last areas of peaceful cooperation in the world. This “Arctic exception” is also devoid of any serious territorial dispute between...
Hypersonic Weapons: What Are the Challenges for the Armed Forces? Briefings de l'Ifri, June 18, 2021
Hypersonic systems are becoming attributes of power for the states that design and implement them, at the risk of reviving an arms race.
Strategic Risk Reduction between Nuclear-Weapons Possessors Proliferation Papers, No. 63, January 2021
The topic of nuclear risk reduction has gained momentum in the international security debate among policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, and experts.
Current and Future Trends in Chinese Counterspace Capabilities Proliferation Papers, No. 62, November 2020
China is in the midst of a long-term effort to develop a world-class space program with a strong military and national security component.
The European Equation of Nuclear Deterrence, Variables and Possible Solutions Éditoriaux de l'Ifri, July 2020
Ever since nuclear weapons were developed by the United States and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, Europe has lived under the nuclear shadow. A major direct confrontation between “the West” and “the East” could have very likely resulted in the detonation of nuclear...
The Franco-German Tandem: Bridging the Gap on Nuclear Issues Proliferation Papers, No. 61, Ifri, January 2019
The Franco-German couple has long been characterized by divergent trajectories on nuclear matters, and antagonist historical decisions still frame the current relationship.
The Erosion of Strategic Stability and the Future of Arms Control in Europe Proliferation Papers, No. 60, November 2018
The instruments of cooperative security created during and since the Cold War to foster mutual confidence and reduce the risks of war, inadvertent escalation, and arms races, in and around Europe, have come under increasing strain.
How do we get out of wars? One hundred years after 1918, Politique étrangère’s special report takes up this question from different perspectives in relation to the conflicts in which Western armies, willingly or otherwise, are embroiled.
These luncheon-debates are dedicated to corporate and individual benefactor members. By personal invitation only....
The United States Program and the Center for Security Studies at IFRI hosed Robert Litwak, Vice-President and Director of Security Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center for a closed seminar on April 22....
BEIJING, Oct. 28 -- The 5th session of Beijing Xiangshan Forum Webinar 2021 was held on the evening of October 26 around the topic of “Strategic Stability: Impasse and Way Out”, in which the establishment of the so-called trilateral security partnership, AUKUS, by the US, Britain and Australia...
French admiral says US has broken a pact among nuclear powers on the UN Security Council by agreeing to sell nuclear submarines.
France, the European Union's sole nuclear power since Britain's exit from the bloc, will unveil Friday how it intends to use its atomic arsenal as a deterrent in an increasingly unstable world.
Robert Litwak is the Vice President for Scholars and Director of International Security Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Robert Litwak from the Wilson Center joined Ifri on April 22, 2015 for a seminar on the U.S.-Iranian nuclear negotiations. In this video, he analyzes the different views on Iran and its regime....