• “Nuclear Blackmail” – Misdirection in the Ukraine War Debate

    Author(s):
    Carl Conetta (see profile)
    Date:
    2023
    Subject(s):
    Ukraine, Russia, National security, War, International relations, Nuclear weapons, Nuclear nonproliferation, Nuclear warfare, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Military policy
    Item Type:
    Report
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/gdqg-4d30
    Abstract:
    Some say that turning to diplomacy in the face of nuclear threats will prompt a rash of nuclear proliferation and coercion. They’re wrong. This short article explains why the outcome of the Ukraine war will have little bearing on nations’ pursuit of nuclear weapons and little effect on the incidence of nuclear coercion. While nuclear coercion is in some ways analogous to common blackmail, there are important differences. Common “blackmail” is a relatively low-cost, low-visibility, low-risk endeavor. Nuclear coercion is none of the these things. And this limits the practice. Also, the high cost of acquiring, holding, and using nuclear weapons will always impede nuclear acquisition. Conversely, nations perceiving a critical threat will always seek more powerful means of deterrence and defense, regardless of the Ukraine war outcome.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Online publication    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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