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Too Close for Comfort: Cases of Near Nuclear Use and Options for Policy

Abstract : Nuclear weapons have not been detonated in violent conflict since 1945. The decades since then are commonly perceived – particularly in those countries that possess nuclear weapons – as an era of successful nuclear non-use and a vindication of the framework of nuclear deterrence. In this narrative, the fear of massive retaliation and a shared understanding and set of behaviours are believed to have prevented the use of nuclear weapons. Yet the decades since 1945 have been punctuated by a series of disturbing close calls. Evidence from many declassified documents, testimonies and interviews suggests that the world has, indeed, been lucky, given the number of instances in which nuclear weapons were nearly used inadvertently as a result of miscalculation or error...
Mots-clés : nuclear weapons power
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 9:15:01 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 4:08:01 PM


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Patricia Lewis, Heather Williams, Benoît Pelopidas, Sasan Aghlani. Too Close for Comfort: Cases of Near Nuclear Use and Options for Policy. [Research Report] Chatham House - Royal Institute of International Affairs. 2014, pp.30. ⟨hal-03460499⟩



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