The End of Strategic Stability?

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314 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626166028 (1626166021)

314 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626166035 (162616603X)

ISBN: 9781626166042

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September 2018
LC: 2017053582


Table of Contents

The End of Strategic Stability?
Nuclear Weapons and the Challenge of Regional Rivalries
Lawrence Rubin and Adam N. Stulberg, Editors

During the Cold War, many believed that the superpowers shared a conception of strategic stability, a coexistence where both sides would compete for global influence but would be deterred from using nuclear weapons. In actuality, both sides understood strategic stability and deterrence quite differently. Today's international system is further complicated by more nuclear powers, regional rivalries, and nonstate actors who punch above their weight, but the United States and other nuclear powers still cling to old conceptions of strategic stability.

The purpose of this book is to unpack and examine how different states in different regions view strategic stability, the use or non-use of nuclear weapons, and whether or not strategic stability is still a prevailing concept. The contributors to this volume explore policies of current and potential nuclear powers including the United States, Russia, China, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. This volume makes an important contribution toward understanding how nuclear weapons will impact the international system in the twenty-first century and will be useful to students, scholars, and practitioners of nuclear weapons policy.

Lawrence Rubin is an associate professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author and editor of three books, including Islam in the Balance: Ideational Threats in Arab Politics.

Adam N. Stulberg is Neal Family Chair and CoDirector of the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy at the Sam Nunn School, Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author and editor of five books including, the co-edited volume The Nuclear Energy Renaissance and International Security.

"This book makes a very thoughtful contribution to the discussion of new security challenges facing the world when the members of the nuclear club are growing and established members are refining their arsenals. . . . This book should definitely be on the reading list of every graduate seminar on international security, and both academics and policymakers must grapple with the weighty questions raised in this book."—H-Diplo

"This book deserves a place on the bookshelf for scholars and practitioners who will find in its well curated pages an insightful framework to further the discussion on formulating effective multi-domain deterrence."—Air & Space Power Journal (ASPJ)

"Read as a cross-national treatment of strategic stability, the volume has much to offer practitioners interested in the subject. The editors admit that the conception of strategic stability varies from state to state, but the authors do an excellent job framing and putting each state's understanding in context. The book also has much to offer the more general reader who is interested in how various states think about nuclear doctrine today."—Choice

"Makes an important and timely contribution towards our understanding of just how nuclear weapons will impact the international system in the twenty-first century. and will be useful to students, scholars, and practitioners of nuclear weapons policy."—Midwest Book Review

"Lawrence Rubin and Adam Stulberg have constructed an indispensable map for navigating the second Nuclear Age. This terrific collection illuminates how standard thinking about strategic stability will be upended by emerging technologies, regional proliferation, and the evolution of great power politics. An essential guidebook for understanding the new era of nuclear diplomacy."—Todd S. Sechser, Discovery Professor of Politics, University of Virginia

"Strategy stability was a much debated topic during the Cold War era. Today strategic stability has become even more complex with multiple regional players entering the picture with their diverse visions on what constitutes stability or instability. The chapters in this timely volume illuminate our understanding of strategic stability in its multidimensional forms in an era of great uncertainty."—T.V. Paul, James McGill Professor of International Relations, co-editor, Complex Deterrence: Strategy in the Global Era and author of The Tradition of Non-use of Nuclear Weapons

"Is strategic stability relevant today? Can we even agree on what it means? The United States faces a revanchist Russia that redefined the use of nuclear weapons as a normal extension of conventional conflict. Today's commanders face that and more as nations like Iran and North Korea race toward nuclear capability and all the while threaten its use. Does that mean strategic stability has been cast aside as a framework for cooperation in our future? Certainly not. Rubin and Stulberg have assembled a cast of experts who catch the dynamics of how rivals have understood and misunderstood deterrence and strategic stability. Rubin and Stulberg have aligned these concepts and contributions in a context that allows us to consider how to move forward. This book is absolutely essential reading for both the scholar and the practitioner."—Philip Breedlove, USAF (Ret.), 17th Supreme Allied Commander Europe

Table of Contents


Adam N. Stulberg and Lawrence Rubin

Part I: General Approaches to Regional Stability
1. Sources of Instability in the Second Nuclear Age: An American Perspective
Evan Braden Montgomery

2. The Russian Approach to Strategic Stability: Preserving a Classical Formula in a Turbulent World
Andrey Pavlov and Anastasia Malygina

3. Pakistan's View of Strategic Stability: A Struggle between Theory and Practice
Sadia Tasleem

4. Strategic Stability in the Middle East: Through the Transparency Lens
Emily B. Landau

5. Beyond Strategic Stability: Deterrence, Regional Balance, and Iranian National Security
Annie Tracy Samuel

Conclusion to Part I: Regional Approaches to Strategic Stability
Rajesh Basrur

Part II: Cross-Domain Deterrence and Strategic Stability
6. Strategic Stability and Cross-Domain Coercion: The Russian Approach to Information (Cyber) Warfare
Dmitry "Dima" Adamsky

7. Conventional Challenges to Strategic Stability: Chinese Perceptions of Hypersonic Technology and the Security Dilemma
Tong Zhao

8. The India-Pakistan Nuclear Dyad: Strategic Stability and Cross-Domain Deterrence
Happymon Jacob

9. The Road Not Taken: Defining Israel's Approach to Strategic Stability
Ilai Z. Saltzman

10. Maintaining Sovereignty and Preserving the Regime: How Saudi Arabia Views Strategic Stability
Ala' Alrababa'h

Conclusion to Part II: Regional Variations on Deterrence and Stability
Jeffrey W. Knopf

Part III: Findings and Implications
11. Foreign Views of Strategic Stability and US Nuclear Posture: The Need for Tailored Strategies
Matthew Kroenig

12. Implications for US Policy: Defending a Stable International System
Adam Mount

Conclusion to the Book
Lawrence Rubin and Adam N. Stulberg

List of Contributors

Dmitry Adamsky Ala' Alrababa'h Rajesh M. Basrur Happymon Jacob Jeffrey Knopf Matthew Kroenig Emily B. Landau Anastasia Malygina Evan Montgomery Adam Mount Andrey Pavlov Lawrence Rubin Ilai Saltzman Adam N. Stulberg Sadia Tasleem Annie Tracy Samuel Tong Zhao