As President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un exchange insults and threats, host Neal Conan puts the nuclear standoff between Washington and Pyongyang into historical and intellectual context in a Brinksmanship Edition of Truth Politics and Power. Conversations about strategist Thomas Schelling and the risks of gaming nuclear conflict; Josef Stalin, Harry Truman and the lessons of the first crisis of the Cold War; and how hyperbolic rhetoric and apocalyptic threats affect the calculus of deterrence.
Paul Bracken is a professor of political science and business at Yale University. Professor Bracken grew up in Philadelphia. He received his Bachelor of Science (Engineering) degree from Columbia University in 1971 and his PhD in Operations Research in 1982 from Yale University.
Bracken is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, co-chairs the Board of Advisors of the Naval Postgraduate School and the U.S. Naval War College, and advises other parts of the United States government and National Academy of Sciences Task Forces.
Ankit Panda is an editor at the Council on Foreign Relations, an editor at the Diplomat, the New York chapter president for the Center for International Maritime Security, and an independent geopolitical risk consultant. At the Diplomat, he authors daily analysis and commentaries on international politics, security, economics, and culture, focusing on the broader Asia-Pacific region. He also hosts and produces a popular podcast on geopolitics for the Diplomat. He is a Carnegie New Leader at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York City, where he is also a 2016 Asia Dialogues delegate.
Joshua H. Pollack is the Editor of the The Nonproliferation Review and a Senior Research Associate, and is recognized as a leading expert on nuclear and missile proliferation, focusing on Northeast Asia. He is a regular contributor at the prominent blog Arms Control Wonk, focusing primarily on current challenges to the nuclear nonproliferation regime. He also has written recently about issues surrounding emerging non-nuclear strategic forces, including conventional prompt global strike weapons and strategic missile defenses.
The cold war ended more than two decades ago, and with its end came a reduction in the threat of nuclear weapons―a luxury that we can no longer indulge. It’s not just the threat of Iran getting the bomb or North Korea doing something rash; the whole complexion of global power politics is changing because of the reemergence of nuclear weapons as a vital element of statecraft and power politics. In short, we have entered the second nuclear age. In this provocative and agenda-setting book, Paul Bracken of Yale University argues that we need to pay renewed attention to nuclear weapons and how their presence will transform the way crises develop and escalate.