Preparations for Nuclear War-Fighting and the Demise of Arms Control
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Preparations for Nuclear War-Fighting and the Demise of Arms Control

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Arms control was based on an assumption that no longer exists: stabilization of big power relations in order to avoid a war that nobody wants. Today, revisionist powers in Europe and East Asia defy stability, and in the US and Russia war-fighting preparations include nuclear as well as conventional and other means, especially at theatre level. China may be moving in the same direction, but there is not enough evidence to say so with certainty. US–China relations are facing the Thucydides trap, and the triangular politics of the three leading nuclear powers is inherently unstable. Except for the Cuban Missile Crisis and the critical state of US–Soviet relations around 1980, the present world is more dangerous than it has ever been in the nuclear age.

This policy brief was published jointly by APLN and the Toda Peace Institute.

About the Author

Dr. Sverre Lodgaard has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) since 2007, after serving 10 years as director. Previously, he served as Director of European Security and Disarmament Studies at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Director of the International Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva.

Dr. Lodgaard is an expert on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, European security and the Middle East, and has been an advisor for numerous international institutions. Dr. Lodgaard was a member of the Pugwash Council, a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament, a member of the Norwegian Government’s Advisory Council for Arms Control and Disarmament, and an advisor for Norwegian delegations to International Conferences on Arms Control and Disarmament. He also served on the editorial committee of Security Dialogue, and as editor for Journal of Peace Research.

Dr. Lodgaard’s publications include the book, “Stable Nuclear Zero: The Vision and Its Implications for Disarmament Policy” (Routledge, 2017), “External Powers and the Arab Spring” (Scandinavian Academic Press, 2016), “Dialogue and Conflict Resolution: Potential and Limits” (Routledge, 2015).

The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network or any of its members.

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