Joshua Pollack

Articles by Joshua Pollack

12 March 2010

Extended deterrence and the tactical nuclear mirage

Joshua Pollack

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the need to reassure allies has become, perhaps by default, one of the more important rationales for continuity in U.S. nuclear posture. In fact, a view frequently expressed by current and former U.S. officials holds that Washington still maintains the largest strategic nuclear arsenal in the world precisely to provide these assurances.

20 January 2010

Is the cyber threat a weapon of mass destruction?

Joshua Pollack

Google's surprise announcement of "a highly sophisticated and targeted attack" on its systems--a case of computer-aided espionage--has also raised the specter of offensive warfare. Defense News quotes Adm. Robert Willard of U.S.

6 January 2010

The Nuclear Posture Review, now and later

Joshua Pollack

The long-awaited report of the third Nuclear Posture Review is now scheduled for delivery to Congress on March 1. According to a recent New York Times article, the posture review will consider the prevention of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism to be equally as important as the nuclear deterrence mission.

30 November 2009

Time for a test-ban bargain

Joshua Pollack

On the face of it, quickly bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) before the U.S. Senate for ratification seems like an easy choice. In 1996, Washington signed the long-sought treaty, which reinforces the nonproliferation regime by banning all nuclear explosions. No U.S. nuclear testing has taken place since 1992, and there is scant interest in picking up where we left off.

30 October 2009

Reducing the role of nuclear weapons

Joshua Pollack

In his April 5, 2009 speech in Prague, President Barack Obama pledged to "take concrete steps toward a world without nuclear weapons." In particular, he promised to "reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same." This was not merely an idealistic gesture. Bounding the role of the U.S.

29 September 2009

Deconstructing the Iranian challenge

Joshua Pollack

Long-awaited talks between Iran and six major powers (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States) start on Thursday, October 1, in Geneva. Bolstered by last week's revelation of a enrichment facility hidden under a mountain near the Iranian city of Qom, Western officials reportedly will press Iran to commit to the Additional Protocol, an agreement that allows wide-ranging access for international inspectors.

15 September 2009

Getting back to basics on missile defense

Joshua Pollack

The Obama administration has inherited a Gordian knot in strategic security affairs, but no sword. Instead of seizing opportunities to make far-reaching changes to post-Cold War nuclear posture, the previous two administrations pursued NATO expansion and national missile defense deployment. These choices set the scene for the Pentagon's missile defense review, which is expected to conclude shortly.

25 August 2009

An interview with Joshua Pollack

Joshua Pollack
1 July 2009
Since the Cold War, arms control negotiations have been strictly a bilateral affair between Washington and Moscow. But as times have changed, so must this dynamic. Enter China.
1 January 2009
Arming Trident ballistic missiles with conventional warheads to strike “high-value” targets on a moment's notice would likely cause more problems than it solves.