All nuclear-armed states, apart from China, explicitly reserve the right to use nuclear weapons in response to various nonnuclear threats, yet they are often vague about which ones. What specific nonnuclear threats do nuclear-armed states seek to counter with nuclear weapons? Are there means, other than nuclear weapons, for deterring or otherwise managing these threats? And, given the scale of the damage that nuclear weapons could cause—including to states not involved in the conflict—could their use in response to nonnuclear threats be proportionate and morally justifiable, and create more strategic benefits than risks?


Matthew Harries, House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee


Austin Long, Joint Staff J5

Lu Yin, PLA National Defense University

Harald Müller, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt