Examining Strategic Stability in Northeast Asia

November 13, 2015

On the afternoon of Thursday, October 29, 2015, the Harold Smith Defense and National Security Series hosted Dr. Brad Roberts, director of the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Roberts spoke on “Extended Deterrence and Strategic Stability in Northeast Asia,” sharing valuable insight on the nuclear landscape of northeast Asia and providing key points from a paper he wrote for the Ministry of Defense think tank in Japan. The paper drew from knowledge Dr. Roberts gained while he was the Director of the Nuclear Posture Review in 2009 and the Ballistic Missile Defense Review. 

Dr. Roberts acknowledged the complicated issues surrounding nuclear weapons in Asia today. “After all, twenty years ago, with the Cold War rapidly receding in memory, the nuclear business was also rapidly receding...you could think of the nuclear shadow going in retreat for a number of reasons.” With the buildup of nuclear weapons in several regions such as India, China, Iran, Pakistan and North Korea, other countries feel compelled to keep up in order to maintain a position of defense. There also several anxieties amongst allies concerning the stabilty­/instability paradox leading to smaller conflicts correlating with the accumulation of nuclear weapons as seen in the India­/Pakistan relationship. In addition, Dr. Roberts highlighted the Obama administration's strides towards strengthening extended deterrence and assurance to our allies and the subsequent steps taken to achieve this goal.

Dr. Roberts closed the discussion with an open Q & A with the audience.

The Harold Smith Defense and National Security Series focuses on U.S. defense policies with emphasis on the control and management of nuclear weapons.