Does US missile defense work?
Weekly Newsletters

Does US missile defense work?



14 January 2022

Dear Network Members and Colleagues,

This week, we continue our report series on nuclear use scenarios in the Asia-Pacific. The latest paper by MIT’s David Wright analyses the effectiveness of US missile defenses against potential attacks. Following the postponement of the 10th NPT Review Conference (RevCon) APLN member Marianne Hanson takes stock of developments since the 2015 RevCon. We also highlight a statement from the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group, and the synthesis report from our Cooperative Threat Reduction for the DPRK project published before Christmas.

In a new special report, David Wright, research affiliate at the Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), identifies key uncertainties that the United States and its allies must consider when assessing the effectiveness of defense systems against potential DPRK attacks on US allies and territories.

Wright argues that current missile defense systems will not be able to provide US leaders with enough confidence to carry out military action without having to worry about a disastrous retaliatory strike.

Read Now (PDF)

This report is a part of a joint project on Reducing the Risk of Nuclear Weapon Use in Northeast Asia (NU-NEA) with the Nautilus Institute, the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (RECNA), and the Panel on Peace and Security of North East Asia (PSNA).

Last month, we released a synthesis report summarising the findings of our project on the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program for the DPRK.

The project proposes the implementation of discrete, small to medium scale localized projects with the potential for large-scale impact which address the DPRK’s critical and urgent problems on energy insecurity, public health and the COVID-19 pandemic. The report makes clear that this engagement is necessary to promote shared security and the eventual denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Read Now (PDF)

On 13 January, APLN published a commentary by Marianne Hanson, Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Queensland, reviews key developments that will affect the Tenth NPT Review Conference and proposes steps that can be taken to minimize risks and prevent unwanted outcomes.

Read Now

On 7 January, the Co-Conveners of the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG) released a statement, welcoming the 3 January 2022 Joint Statement on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races by the nuclear weapons states.

Last week, APLN Chair Marty Natalegawa similarly expressed his support, and called for “actions to accompany the assurances.”

Disparity, escalation key issues for NPT review
On 11 January, APLN Member Manpreet Sethi, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies in New Dehli, published a commentary in The Tribune, where she argued that India should voice its support for the joint statement of the five nuclear weapons states. Read more

Geopolitical scenario: Time to revitalise the Act East policy
On 7 January, APLN Member Shyam Saran published an article in India Today in which he made geopolitical predictions for India in 2022, and argued that the country must participate more actively in regional economic partnerships. Read more (paywall)

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