DIGITAL MAGAZINE

March 2022

DIGITAL MAGAZINE

March 2022

US and Aussie submarines

Introduction: Can the United States and China co-exist in the 21st century? Will they?

Between Nixon’s visit 50 years ago and now, China has undergone an extraordinary economic transformation, becoming either the second-largest or largest economy in the world. Along the way, Chinese relations with the United States and the rest of the world have become more complex, entwining almost all dimensions of soft, military, and economic power.
US and Aussie submarines

Introduction: Can the United States and China co-exist in the 21st century? Will they?

Between Nixon’s visit 50 years ago and now, China has undergone an extraordinary economic transformation, becoming either the second-largest or largest economy in the world. Along the way, Chinese relations with the United States and the rest of the world have become more complex, entwining almost all dimensions of soft, military, and economic power.
ancient Greek warriors on vase

Interview with Graham Allison: Are the United States and China charging into Thucydides’s trap?

In his classic History of the Peloponnesian War, Greek historian Thucydides wrote: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” In his critically acclaimed 2017 book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, eminent international security analyst Graham Allison explored this phenomenon today when, as in ancient Greece, a rising power threatens to displace a ruling one.
plane flying over ship Cuban Missile Crisis

China and the United States: It’s a Cold War, but don’t panic

In November 2019, Henry Kissinger warned that the United States and China were in “the foothills of a Cold War” that could end in a conflict worse than World War I. Two years, one pandemic, and a change of American administrations later, the relationship is above the foothills and nearing the summit. Cold War framing now seems inevitable. It has, at least, the virtue of focusing the world’s attention.
submarine leaving Hawaii

One if by invasion, two if by coercion: US military capacity to protect Taiwan from China

A conflict between Taiwan and China might involve a full-scale invasion, or a more limited coercion campaign in which China seeks to cause Taiwan enough pain to cause it to change its behavior. If the US chooses to intervene on Taiwan’s behalf, it can likely prevent China from invading Taiwan but might not be able to prevent Taiwan from being coerced.
jet planes in flight

Sure, deter China—but manage risk with North Korea, too

The US is reassessing its military posture in the Indo-Pacific, largely with deterrence of China in mind. At the same time, US planners and decision-makers must contemplate possible unintended consequences of these changes with regards to a new nuclear power: Pyongyang.
Indo-Pakistani border ceremony

Global and regional confrontation in South and Southeast Asia

The US remains the single most powerful country and will remain so for some time. Russia is roughly equal only in respect to its nuclear arsenal. China will soon become the world leader in terms of total economic output—but its per capita income level will not soon approximate Western developed countries. So, where do India and Pakistan fit in?
atoms for peace

Exchanging atoms for influence: Competition in Southeast Asia’s nuclear market

To satisfy the potential Southeast Asian nuclear market, China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan are stepping in. Given the enormous strategic as well as economic benefits that nuclear exports offer, countries that make forays into the region will likely wield significant influence in the region for years to come.
IAEA inspectors in Iraq

Trust but verify: How to get there by using next-generation nuclear verification and warhead dismantlement techniques

The next generation of arms control agreements may require new verification tools to achieve ambitious objectives, such as including all nuclear weapons—deployed or non-deployed, strategic or non-strategic—and nuclear warhead dismantlement. Physics can play a key role.
Russian Strategic Missile Forces on the road in a military convoy

Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have in 2022?

This Nuclear Notebook examines Russia’s nuclear arsenal, which includes a stockpile of approximately 4,477 warheads. Of these, about 1,588 strategic warheads are deployed on ballistic missiles and at heavy bomber bases, while an approximate additional 977 strategic warheads, along with 1,912 nonstrategic warheads, are held in reserve. The Russian arsenal is continuing a comprehensive modernization program intended to replace most Soviet-era weapons by the mid- to late 2020s. As of February 23rd, 2022, some of the Russian delivery vehicles that are currently deployed near Ukraine are considered to be dual-capable, meaning that they can be used to launch either conventional or nuclear weapons; however, at the time of publication, we have not seen any indication that Russia has deployed nuclear weapons or nuclear custodial units along with those delivery vehicles.
ancient Greek warriors on vase

Interview with Graham Allison: Are the United States and China charging into Thucydides’s trap?

In his classic History of the Peloponnesian War, Greek historian Thucydides wrote: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” In his critically acclaimed 2017 book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, eminent international security analyst Graham Allison explored this phenomenon today when, as in ancient Greece, a rising power threatens to displace a ruling one.
plane flying over ship Cuban Missile Crisis

China and the United States: It’s a Cold War, but don’t panic

In November 2019, Henry Kissinger warned that the United States and China were in “the foothills of a Cold War” that could end in a conflict worse than World War I. Two years, one pandemic, and a change of American administrations later, the relationship is above the foothills and nearing the summit. Cold War framing now seems inevitable. It has, at least, the virtue of focusing the world’s attention.
submarine leaving Hawaii

One if by invasion, two if by coercion: US military capacity to protect Taiwan from China

A conflict between Taiwan and China might involve a full-scale invasion, or a more limited coercion campaign in which China seeks to cause Taiwan enough pain to cause it to change its behavior. If the US chooses to intervene on Taiwan’s behalf, it can likely prevent China from invading Taiwan but might not be able to prevent Taiwan from being coerced.
jet planes in flight

Sure, deter China—but manage risk with North Korea, too

The US is reassessing its military posture in the Indo-Pacific, largely with deterrence of China in mind. At the same time, US planners and decision-makers must contemplate possible unintended consequences of these changes with regards to a new nuclear power: Pyongyang.
Indo-Pakistani border ceremony

Global and regional confrontation in South and Southeast Asia

The US remains the single most powerful country and will remain so for some time. Russia is roughly equal only in respect to its nuclear arsenal. China will soon become the world leader in terms of total economic output—but its per capita income level will not soon approximate Western developed countries. So, where do India and Pakistan fit in?
atoms for peace

Exchanging atoms for influence: Competition in Southeast Asia’s nuclear market

To satisfy the potential Southeast Asian nuclear market, China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan are stepping in. Given the enormous strategic as well as economic benefits that nuclear exports offer, countries that make forays into the region will likely wield significant influence in the region for years to come.
IAEA inspectors in Iraq

Trust but verify: How to get there by using next-generation nuclear verification and warhead dismantlement techniques

The next generation of arms control agreements may require new verification tools to achieve ambitious objectives, such as including all nuclear weapons—deployed or non-deployed, strategic or non-strategic—and nuclear warhead dismantlement. Physics can play a key role.
Russian Strategic Missile Forces on the road in a military convoy

Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have in 2022?

This Nuclear Notebook examines Russia’s nuclear arsenal, which includes a stockpile of approximately 4,477 warheads. Of these, about 1,588 strategic warheads are deployed on ballistic missiles and at heavy bomber bases, while an approximate additional 977 strategic warheads, along with 1,912 nonstrategic warheads, are held in reserve. The Russian arsenal is continuing a comprehensive modernization program intended to replace most Soviet-era weapons by the mid- to late 2020s. As of February 23rd, 2022, some of the Russian delivery vehicles that are currently deployed near Ukraine are considered to be dual-capable, meaning that they can be used to launch either conventional or nuclear weapons; however, at the time of publication, we have not seen any indication that Russia has deployed nuclear weapons or nuclear custodial units along with those delivery vehicles.

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cover image for July 2022 magazine issue on blockchain and cryptocurrency with image of giant bitcoin melting on to the planet Earth
cover image for July 2022 magazine issue on blockchain and cryptocurrency with image of giant bitcoin melting on to the planet Earth
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists March 2021 magazine issue cover
Albert Einstein in Washington, D.C., between 1921 and 1923. Harris & Ewing, photographers. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016885961/

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