Winter-safe deterrence as a practical contribution to reducing nuclear winter risk: A reply

Part of a symposium on the concept of winter-safe deterrence.

Seth D. Baum, 2015. Winter-safe deterrence as a practical contribution to reducing nuclear winter risk: A reply. Contemporary Security Policy, vol. 36, no. 2 (August), pages 387-397.

Pre-print: Click here to view a full pre-print of the article (pdf).

Version of record: Click here to view the journal version of record.

This paper is my reply to a symposium that Contemporary Security Policy hosted on my article Winter-safe deterrence: The risk of nuclear winter and its challenge to deterrence. Symposium contributions include:
* The winter safe deterrence debate by Aaron Karp & Regina Karp, the Contemporary Security Policy editors and Old Dominion University Political Science
* Discontent with winter-safe deterrence by Christian Enemark, Reader in Global Health and International Politics at Aberystwyth University
* Denying disarmament by Jean Pascal Zanders, independent researcher & consultant
* Nuclear winter-safe and sound in the snow globe by Patricia Lewis Research Director of International Security at Chatham House

Click here for the full details of the winter-safe deterrence debate

In a recent issue of this journal, I published an article proposing the concept of winter-safe deterrence. The article defined winter-safe deterrence as "military force capable of meeting the deterrence goals of today’s nuclear weapon states without risking catastrophic nuclear winter". The article and a summary version published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have since stimulated extensive discussion in social media, the Bulletin, and now a symposium in this journal. The discussion has been productive for refining certain aspects of winter-safe deterrence and getting an initial sense of how the concept may be received. This is exactly what should happen for a new idea with significant policy implications. As a humble author, I welcome the discussion, including the points of criticism. I likewise thank the participants in this symposium for their contributions, as well as the many others who have commented elsewhere on winter-safe deterrence. In this essay, I reply to the contributions to this symposium as part of a broader discussion of winter-safe deterrence and the discussion it has sparked.

Created 1 Jul 2015 * Updated 25 Aug 2015