Summary

The entanglement of non-nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons and their enabling capabilities is exacerbating the risk of inadvertent escalation. Yet so far, the debate about the severity of this risk has been almost exclusively limited to American participants. So Carnegie teams from Russia and China set out to examine the issue and answer two questions: How serious are the escalation risks arising from entanglement? And, how do the authors views compare to those of their countries strategic communities?

Defining Entanglement

Entanglement has various dimensions: dual-use delivery systems that can be armed with nuclear and non-nuclear warheads; the commingling of nuclear and non-nuclear forces and their support structures; and non-nuclear threats to nuclear weapons and their associated command, control, communication, and information (C3I) systems. Technological developments are currently increasing the entanglement of non-nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons and their enabling capabilities.

A RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE FROM ALEXEY ARBATOV, VLADIMIR DVORKIN, AND PETR TOPYCHKANOV

Entanglement, driven by technological and doctrinal developments in both Russia and the United States, is giving rise to the risk that a non-nuclear conflicteven a local onemight escalate rapidly and unintentionally into a global nuclear war. This danger is underestimated by politicians and m...