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The Second Nuclear Age: A Conversation with Professor Paul Bracken New York Luncheon Series

Last year’s North Korean launch of a long-range missile illustrated the frightening prospect of old rivalries in the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia flaring up but this time in the context of nuclear armed states. It occurred against the backdrop of growth in the nuclear arsenals of both Pakistan and India, a significant modernization of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, China’s move of its nuclear weapons to mobile launchers and submarines, and, of course, the looming Iranian nuclear threat. Failure to stop Iran raises the specter of an exceedingly volatile poly-nuclear Middle East.

Paul Bracken, Professor of Management and Political Science at Yale University, former senior researcher at Hudson Institute, author of the widely acclaimed book, The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger and the New Power Politics, and long-time Pentagon advisor contends the atomic bomb has returned for a second act, a post-Cold War encore. But its return, however, is in a multiple regional context where the rules are less certain and the margins for miscalculation much narrower.

All of this is taking place under an alarmingly rapid aging of America’s nuclear capability, sharp cuts in the number of U.S. submarine and bomber-launched nuclear weapons and President Obama’s “Global Zero” nuclear policy – the elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide. Eight of the world’s nine nuclear armed states are modernizing their arsenals. The United States is not.

Hudson Senior Vice President Lewis Libby moderated the discussion.

Hudson Adjunct Fellow William Schneider, Jr., the noted nuclear strategist who served as Chairman of the Defense Science Board at the Pentagon and Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology in the Reagan administration, offered comments.

Panel

Kenneth R. Weinstein Welcome and Introduction

President and CEO, Hudson Institute

Lewis Libby Opening Remarks

Senior Vice President, Hudson Institute

Paul Bracken Panelist

Author, The Second Nuclear Age, Professor, Yale University

William Schneider, Jr Panelist

Adjunct Fellow, Hudson Institute

Sarah May Stern Closing Remarks

Chairman, Hudson Institute Board of Trustees

Experts