The world is in a second nuclear age in which regional powers
play an increasingly prominent role. These states have small
nuclear arsenals, often face multiple active conflicts, and
sometimes have weak institutions. How do these nuclear states--and
potential future ones--manage their nuclear forces and influence
international conflict? Examining the reasoning and deterrence
consequences of regional power nuclear strategies, this book
demonstrates that these strategies matter greatly to international
stability and it provides new insights into conflict dynamics
across important areas of the world such as the Middle East, East
Asia, and South Asia.
Vipin Narang identifies the diversity of regional power nuclear
strategies and describes in detail the posture each regional power
has adopted over time. Developing a theory for the sources of
regional power nuclear strategies, he offers the first systematic
explanation of why states choose the postures they do and under
what conditions they might shift strategies. Narang then analyzes
the effects of these choices on a state's ability to deter
conflict. Using both quantitative and qualitative analysis, he
shows that, contrary to a bedrock article of faith in the canon of
nuclear deterrence, the acquisition of nuclear weapons does not
produce a uniform deterrent effect against opponents. Rather, some
postures deter conflict more successfully than others.
"Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era" considers the range of
nuclear choices made by regional powers and the critical challenges
they pose to modern international security.
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