No First Use: Unpacking the Benefits and Risks of a Policy of Nuclear Restraint

Nuclear Ballistic Missile LaunchFINAL

This episode of Horns of a Dilemma expands on a recent roundtable in the Texas National Security Review that examines the question of adopting a nuclear no-first-use policy. Dr. John Harvey, a scientist and former senior Defense Department official, and Jon Wolfsthal, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, debate whether such a policy adds or detracts from stability in the event of a crisis, and how it affects the calculus of deterrence. Dr. Harvey and Mr. Wolfsthal also discuss topics ranging from the reliability of nuclear command and control to the credibility of signaling resolve, and how such issues would be affected by a no-first-use policy. You can read the full roundtable, which includes essays by Harvey, and Wolfsthal, as well as Professor Nina Tannenwald writing on nuclear no-first-use, and Professors Rachel Whitlark and Brendan Green writing on sole nuclear launch authority, on our website: