2017 Plenary 2: Nukes: The Fire and the Fury

Video begins at 30:00

In 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan. The result of this demonstration of power and destruction has been no nuclear weapons used in war for over 70 years. But with the end of the Cold War, have we forgotten about the terrible power of nuclear weapons? Are some states indifferent to the responsibility that comes with being a nuclear power? Panelists tackled these questions with a focus on Iran, North Korea and America’s role in deterring potentially rogue states and actors. One panelist noted that in order to have peace you must be ready for war. While emphasizing diplomatic levers in resolving disputes, the panel argued deterrence – particularly nuclear deterrence – is key. And this means that if the world still needs nukes, there are major upgrades needed in the equipment and infrastructure needed in the United States to maintain a credible nuclear deterrence. As rhetoric in North Korea, Iran and America escalates, panelists emphasized the importance of dialogue to deescalate before deterrence becomes irreversible action.