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Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy presents

Coercion in the new nuclear age



10th January 2018


Seminar Room 3-1, Level 3, Manasseh Meyer Building, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, 469C Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 259772


Dr Toby Dalton, Co-Director of the Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

How should states respond to threats of nuclear coercion, such as those that come from North Korea and Pakistan?It is difficult to identify a pragmatic policy course: if a state don’t respond, it erodes deterrence; if the response is too punitive, it risks escalation. For a variety of reasons, including politics and psychology, policymakers and military strategists tend to gravitate to punitive approaches. Yet most of these options, if exercised alone, increase the risks of conflict escalation and deterrence failure. One way to mitigate such risk is through strategies that combine punitive threats with reassurance and incentives for improved relations.

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