You are here

Deterrence and Proliferation

Le lancement d'un missile balistique depuis l'eau

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).


Research Fellow, Director of Ifri's Security Studies Center

Héloïse FAYET

Research Fellow, Security Studies Center

Jean-Louis LOZIER

Advisor, Security Studies Center

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...

By: Jeffrey LEWIS

In many respects, the People’s Republic of China’s nuclear arsenal and posture appear unusual to Western eyes. From its “No First Use” policy to its nuclear warhead storage system, Beijing appears to think about nuclear weapons and their strategic effects in a way that differs with the West in...

By: Lawrence FREEDMAN

Since the end of the Cold War, the international security environment has been transformed and nuclear weapons have been marginalized in the West. However, the NATO security policies remain almost unchanged: deterrence is still considered as a principle guiding the Atlantic Alliance, even...

By: Shahram CHUBIN

In the long standoff regarding its nuclear ambition, Iran has cultivated ambiguity and been loath to reliably assure the international community of its ultimate intentions, complicating Western efforts to understand, let alone constrain, Tehran’s endeavors.


Since the early twenty-first century, the international nonproliferation landscape has experienced a shift from relatively steady proliferation schemes to more complex and diverse challenges. New entities are gaining access to nuclear material and among them is a growing number of non-state...

By: Dennis M. GORMLEY

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the threat of cruise missile proliferation is as equally challenging to NATO as the threat of ballistic missiles. Over the last two decades, the emergence of cruise missiles and UAVs as a threat has been slow, and governments, particularly the...

By: Forrest E. MORGAN

"Escalation", the tendency of belligerents to increase the force or breadth of their attacks to gain advantage or avoid defeat, is not a new phenomenon. Systematic thought about how to manage it, however, did not crystallize until the Cold War and the invention of nuclear weapons. 

Aucun résultat

Aucun résultat