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Do Nuclear Weapons Deter?

Chatham House, London

Event Documents

Participants

James Arbuthnot MP, Chair, House of Commons Defence Select Committee, UK
Lord Browne of Ladyton, Secretary of State for Defence (2006-08)
Baroness Neville-Jones, Minister of State for Security, UK (2010-11)
Dr Benoit Pelopidas, Lecturer in International Relations, University of Bristol
Chair: Bridget Kendall, BBC Diplomatic Correspondent

Overview

At a time when a number of countries have either crossed the nuclear weapons threshold or seem poised to, the panel will discuss whether the concept of nuclear deterrence can be relied upon in the contemporary security climate.

For many strategists, nuclear deterrence prevented war between the superpowers and remains a powerful and persuasive feature of the international landscape. But others question if the concept holds any sway in today's complex multipolar world.

As the UK, the US and other states contemplate the future of their nuclear arsenals, the panel will scrutinize deterrence and offer their thoughts on whether alternative weapons systems could be more cost-effective and internationally acceptable.