Nuclear Order in the 21st Century

Rakesh Sood
January 3, 2019

For the last two years, I had been on a nuclear project at ORF, trying to reconcile seemingly inconsistent trends - nuclear weapons are down by 75% from a peak of 65000; the NPT enjoys near universal adherence with only four countries outside it; and yet nuclear risks are perceived to be growing and arms control appears to be in terminal decline. The outcome is the report “Nuclear Order in the 21st Century,” which brings together a unique set of perspectives from Australia, China, Japan, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Russia, UK, and the US. The contributors include both practitioners and academics (and some straddling both the worlds). Accordingly, some pieces are more conceptual and others are more empirical. I have provided an Introduction to the challenge of creating a nuclear order for current times. The effort is to ignite a discussion on a subject which is assuming critical importance for regional and global peace and stability.


Forward by Samir Saran
Introduction by Rakesh Sood

Section I: The Second Nuclear Age: Concepts and Assumptions
Managing the Challenges of the Second Nuclear Age by S. Paul Kapur
The Second Nuclear Age: Primacy of the Political by C. Raja Mohan
A Second Nuclear Age? A View from France by Bruno Tertrais
Relevant Cold War Experience? By Desmond Bowen
A Nucleasr Restraint Regime for the Second Nuclear Age by Ramesh Thakur

Section II: Reconciling Assumptions with Empirical Challenges
An American Perspective on a Framework for Strategic Stability in the Second Nuclear Age by Matthew Kroenig
The Right Strategy for China in the Second Nuclear Age by Tong Zhao
Pakistan: Nuclear Weapons in Persuit of Parity by Husain Haqqani
The Second Nuclear Age and the Korean Peninsula: What Needs to be Done by Chung-in Moon
Emerging Challenges to Deterrence in the Asia Pacific by Yukio Satoh
Russia in the New Nuclear Age by Andrey A. Baklitskiy

To download the full report, please click here.

Rakesh Sood, a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), is a former Indian diplomat, columnist, writer and expert on foreign affairs. He was appointed then Prime Minister’s (Mr. Manmohan Singh) special envoy for disarmament and non-proliferation in September, 2013. He has served as India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan and Nepal, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. He has also served as Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India in Washington DC.


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