Nuclear Strategy

My research on nuclear strategy uses contemporary U.S.-China nuclear dynamics to test and refine great power nuclear strategy developed during the Cold War. 

In 2015, I co-authored an article in International Security with Taylor Fravel, which found that China was not following the example of the Soviet Union by entering into a nuclear arms race as a consequence of its emerging geopolitical competition with the United States. In a second paper (available on request), we use Chinese views and behavior about nuclear escalation to re-visit Cold War theoretical debates over whether nuclear escalation can be controlled. Both of these papers draw on interviews with Chinese experts and original Chinese-language sources to better understand the views informing China's contemporary nuclear strategy.

I am also working on a paper that explains why China never developed tactical nuclear weapons, despite having strong strategic incentives to do so during the 1980s. That paper draws on authoritative new Chinese-language sources of top leaders' deliberations about tactical nuclear weapons.

Photo (above): posters promoting reforms of the Chinese military at the end of 2015.