Special Reports

Special Reports are longer, often more technical, documents consisting of entire articles, government statements, and other documents relevant to security and peace in Northeast Asia.

NAPSNet, Special Reports

A NEW FRAMEWORK FOR THINKING ABOUT REGIONAL NC3?

VIPIN NARANG SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, Vipin Narang argues that eventually “all states delegate—that is, cede the ability to use nuclear weapons, irrespective of the authority to do so—at some point. The question is when.” Vipin Narang is an Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT and a member of MIT’s Security Studies Program. A podcast […]

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UNITED KINGDOM: NUCLEAR WEAPON COMMAND, CONTROL, AND COMMUNICATIONS

JOHN GOWER SEPTEMBER 12, 2019   I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, John Gower states that the UK Nuclear Weapon Command Control and Communications (UK NC3) architecture is designed and operated to support SSBN strategic nuclear deterrence in all foresee­able circumstances from peacetime to nuclear conflict. “Through multiple paths and frequencies, fall-back and alternative systems and […]

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES, EMERGING CHALLENGES — THE POTENTIAL EMPLOYMENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN FUTURE PLA NC3

ELSA B. KANIA SEPTEMBER 5, 2019   I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, Elsa Kania assesses how emerging technologie…

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THE NON-STATE DIMENSION OF NUCLEAR COMMAND, CONTROL AND COMMUNICATIONS

GARY A. ACKERMAN AUGUST 29, 2019   I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, Gary Ackerman introduces how violent non-state actors (VSNAs) may approach the command and control of nuclear weapons.  He suggests that understanding the complexity presented by VNSA NC3 entails considering “traditional concepts of state NC3 (such as the always/never dilemma) and dynamics that are […]

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NUCLEAR COMMAND, CONTROL, AND COMMUNICATIONS: US COUNTRY PROFILE

JEFFREY LARSEN AUGUST 22, 2019   I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, Jeffrey Larsen reviews the legacy NC3 system of the United States now in the midst of a sea-change. He concludes:  “The need to ensure robust existing capabilities for the current system, plus the desire to create a new system that is more than a […]

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NC3 DECISION MAKING: INDIVIDUAL VERSUS GROUP PROCESS

ALEX WELLERSTEIN  AUGUST 8, 2019   I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, Alex Wellerstein sketches a framework for thinking about how concentrated nuclear use authority should be at the top.  While he discusses specific US proposals for reform in response to the debate about President Donald Trump’s fitness, the scope of his analysis is global and […]

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COMMAND AND CONTROL OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN INDIA

M.V. RAMANA & LAUREN J. BORJA AUGUST 1, 2019   I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, M.V. Ramana and Lauren Borja state that Indian nuclear weapons reportedly are “controlled by the Nuclear Command Authority, a two layered structure, one of which is headed by the Prime Minister. Nuclear command and control in India,” they conclude, “has […]

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AN ENGINEERING PERSPECTIVE ON AVOIDING INADVERTENT NUCLEAR WAR

NANCY LEVESON JULY 25 2019 I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, Nancy Leveson argues that using conservative techniques and avoiding software in critical functions in NC3 systems circumvented nuclear catastrophe in the past. Today, she concludes, a new approach is needed that avoids unnecessary complexity; emphasizes less not more technology; and improves NC3 systems by developing […]

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NUCLEAR COMMAND, CONTROL, AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

FIONA S. CUNNINGHAM JULY 18 2019 I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, Fiona Cunningham describes the origins of China’s NC3 system and its primary role in supporting China’s land-based missile force.  She outlines recent developments including mobility, “informatization” and automation of parts of the NC3 system, pending deployment of nuclear missile submarines, early warning systems, evolving […]

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RUSSIA’S NC3 AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS

LEONID RYABIKHIN JULY 11 2019   I.  INTRODUCTION In this essay, Leonid Ryabikhin argues that distrust, misunderstanding and concern prevail in US/NATO and Russia relations “which increases the risk of unintended or accidental conflict. Human or technical mistakes and a variety of natural events can cause the failure or malfunction of technical systems and errors […]

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