No Fusion of Nuclear Views

While leading experts who participated in a study came to agreement in support of a sustainable US nuclear posture, they held differing views on the practicality, feasibility, and desirability of nuclear weapons, said Clark Murdock, senior adviser for nuclear issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on Friday. “There’s a fundamental difference in the value of nuclear weapons as well as the vision of a world without nuclear weapons,” he said during his April 19 talk on Capitol Hill that AFA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Reserve Officers Association sponsored. Murdock outlined some of the key findings of the forthcoming CSIS study that focused on finding bipartisan agreement on the future US nuclear posture. The participants reached consensus that “any actions the US and Russia took in respect to their nuclear arsenals had no impact” on North Korea or Iran, he stated. They also found that it’s not direct deterrence but rather extended deterrence that is a much bigger issue for the United States, he added. Further, some experts believed that if the United States moved to make more reductions in its nuclear arsenal, this would encourage more nonnuclear states to want to cooperate to a greater degree on nonproliferation issues, he said. However, the experts agreed there was no “hard evidence” of that, said Murdock. “Jury is out on whether it has any impact on people’s cooperation,” he said.