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【Special report No.15】 “POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE WAR IN UKRAINE FOR NORTHEAST ASIA” (The Project on “Reducing the risk of Nuclear Weapons Use in Northeast Asia”)
2022年10月25日

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Photo: Graphic artist, Sophia Mauro


POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE WAR IN UKRAINE FOR NORTHEAST ASIA


Paul K. Davis
 
October 27, 2022


This report is published under a 4.0 International Creative Commons License the terms of which are found here.
 
This report is simultaneously published by the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network, Nautilus Institute, and the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Nagasaki University (RECNA).
 
The views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Nautilus Institute. Readers should note that Nautilus seeks a diversity of views and opinions on significant topics in order to identify common ground.

 

Abstract

In this Policy Forum essay, Paul Davis argues: “Anyone sensible worries that a first nuclear use might well lead to escalation and general nuclear war, but the adjective “inexorably” should no longer be included.” He concludes that the Ukraine war has made the range of nuclear-use cases in Northeast Asia that he identified in 2020 even more plausible.

Paul K. Davis is a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and a retired adjunct Senior Principal Researcher at RAND. He received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked in strategic warning technology and systems analysis before joining the U.S. government to work on strategic force planning and arms control. As a Senior Executive, he then headed analysis of global military strategy and related defense programs in the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation. He then joined the RAND Corporation, where his research has dealt with strategic planning under deep uncertainty; deterrence theory; modeling; information fusion; and causal social science for policy applications. He has served on numerous national panels and journal editorial boards. He developed and conducted a prescient nuclear-crisis war game in Seoul in 2016. His most recent major work (co-edited) is Social Behavioral Modeling for Complex Systems (2019), Wiley & Sons. This essay represents his own analysis and is unrelated to RAND research.

This essay is a contribution to the “Reducing the Risk of Nuclear Weapons Use in Northeast Asia” (NU-NEA) project, a collaboration between the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Nagasaki University, Nautilus Institute, and the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear nonproliferation and Disarmament. The project’s goal is to reduce and minimize the risk that nuclear weapons will be used in the region by developing better understandings of the processes that could lead to the first use of nuclear weapons and the potential outcomes of such nuclear weapons use. In the first year of this three-year project, the NU-NEA project team identified over 25 plausible nuclear weapons “use cases” that could start in Northeast Asia, sometimes leading to broader conflict beyond the region. These nuclear use cases are described in the report Possible Nuclear Use Cases in Northeast Asia: Implications for Reducing Nuclear Risk. The project has commissioned five contributions to update the cases in light of the Ukraine conflict, of which this essay is the second.

Keywords:  United States, East Asia, Russia, Ukraine, Nuclear Use, Ukraine, NATO, Biden, Putin

Authors’ Profile:
Paul K. Davis is a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and a retired adjunct Senior Principal Researcher at RAND. He received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked in strategic warning technology and systems analysis before joining the U.S. government to work on strategic force planning and arms control. As a Senior Executive, he then headed analysis of global military strategy and related defense programs in the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation. He then joined the RAND Corporation, where his research has dealt with strategic planning under deep uncertainty; deterrence theory; modeling; information fusion; and causal social science for policy applications. He has served on numerous national panels and journal editorial boards. He developed and conducted a prescient nuclear-crisis war game in Seoul in 2016. His most recent major work (co-edited) is Social Behavioral Modeling for Complex Systems (2019), Wiley & Sons. This essay represents his own analysis and is unrelated to RAND research.

Full text (PDF) is here.
The page for this project is here.
 


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