The Trump administration's recently released Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) has generated controversy over its recommendation that the US develop new nuclear capabilities to deter ‘limited’ nuclear use. The NPR also expands the definition of the role of US nuclear weapons to include potential response to non-nuclear strategic threats, such as a devastating cyber attack.

The 2018 NPR succeeds the Obama administration’s 2010 version, which, although committing to the modernisation of US strategic forces, sought to reduce the role of nuclear weapons and forswore the development of new nuclear capabilities. What has driven the Trump administration to change course? Does the new NPR make US nuclear use more probable? And how likely are the NPR’s recommendations to be translated into reality?

Dr Kori Schake is Deputy Director-General of the IISS. She joined the institute in February 2018 from the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, where she was a Distinguished Research Fellow. She has held policy positions across government, academia and think tanks, including working with both the military and civilian staffs of the Pentagon, in the White House at the National Security Council, and at the US State Department as Deputy Head of Policy Planning.

This event was chaired by Dr Matthew Harries, Managing Editor of Survival; Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Affairs and Nuclear Policy, IISS. It took place in the Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 6 Temple Place, London WC2R 2PG.


Matthew Harries

Dr Matthew Harries is Managing Editor of Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, and Research Fellow for Transatlantic Affairs at the IISS. Before joining the institute Matthew was a postdoctoral research associate at the Centre for Science and Security Studies in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. His PhD, on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), was supervised at King’s by Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman.

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Event details

Friday 9 February, 12.30–1.30pm GMT
Arundel House, London
Dr Kori Schake, Deputy Director-General, IISS
Dr Matthew Harries, Managing Editor of Survival; Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Affairs and Nuclear Policy, IISS

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