The prospect of a war between the United States and North Korea cannot be wished away. Donald Trump doesn’t place much stock in diplomacy and asserts repeatedly that the United States cannot accept a nuclear-armed North Korea with long-range missiles. Nuclear dangers are growing elsewhere, as well. U.S. relations with Russia and China have serious friction points. India and China are skirmishing over undemarcated borders. India and Pakistan could be one more provocation away from another clash. The United States is recapitalizing and refining its nuclear war-fighting capabilities, at a cost of over one trillion dollars. Russia is also replacing older subs and missiles with new ones. China, India and Pakistan as well as North Korea are increasing their nuclear stockpiles. Treaties to reduce nuclear dangers are unraveling. What can be done to halt and reverse these dangerous trend lines?
Michael Krepon received the Carnegie Endowment's Thérèse Delpech Memorial Award in 2015 for lifetime achievement in non-governmental work to reduce nuclear dangers. He co-founded the Stimson Center in 1989, a nonpartisan policy, hands-on think tank working to reduce the world’s greatest threats to security and prosperity. He served as Stimson’s President and CEO until 2000, and continues to direct Stimson’s programming on nuclear and space issues. He was appointed the University of Virginia’s Diplomat Scholar, where he taught from 2001-2010. He is the author and editor of twenty-one books, most recently The Lure and Pitfalls of MIRVs: From the First to the Second Nuclear Age. He worked previously at the Carnegie Endowment, the State Department’s Arms Control and Disarmament Agency during the Carter Administration, and on Capitol Hill.