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Kärnvapen i en alltmer multipolär värld: forskningsöversikt och jämförande analys av amerikansk, brittisk, fransk och rysk doktrin
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för säkerhetspolitik och strategi.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3218-5647
2018 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The first part of this report provides an overview of the history of nuclear weapons doctrine, as it evolved in parallel to the practice of warfare and war planning in the mid-1940s and subsequently as an integral element of the cold war. A distinction is made between the early development of nuclear weapons doctrine, when United States held a dominant position in the field, and the near-parity situation that ensued in the late 1960s and onwards. The second part of the report consists of an analysis of American, British, French and Russian nuclear weapons doctrine between 1991 and 2018, illustrating how a period of low tension was gradually replaced with a reinvigoration of mutual suspicion after the year 2000. A third part briefly examines recent contributions to the American scholarly debate about the utility of nuclear weapons for strategic thought in a world moving toward polycentrism, as it revisits earlier theoretical insights and challenges conventional wisdoms. The fourth and final part elicits lessons for Sweden in particular.

Overall, the report demonstrates that nuclear weapons consistently have represented an integral element of managing security risks in the Western hemisphere but that domestic political and defense industry considerations play in as well. It also suggests that doctrinal adjustments mirror the major concerns of policymakers in this regard and that nuclear powers are well aware of special obligations and privileges ascribed to them by countries that lack this category of weapons. A world in which the United States wields the greatest share of this power (unipolarity) will nonetheless be quite different from one in which two countries possess roughly the same capacity (bipolarity), and yet fundamentally different from one in which three or more countries compete to gain, or sustain, an edge toward others (multipolarity).

To the extent that the world is moving toward greater security competition including the dimension of nuclear power, it will inevitably be more difficult for individual states to remain on the sidelines, unless they are ready to compromise their political autonomy. In terms of options for aligning Sweden with a broader security arrangement in the near future, there are only three feasible alternatives that may offset the risk of nuclear coercion: responding within the framework of the EU, forge closer ties to NATO, or build a bilateral relationship to the United States. Each such option comes with its own set of assets and liabilities, as does remaining a passive bystander.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Försvarshögskolan (FHS), 2018. , p. 40
Keywords [sv]
kärnvapen, strategi, USA, Storbritannien, Frankrike, Ryssland
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot strategi och säkerhetspolitik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8212OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-8212DiVA, id: diva2:1260483
Projects
Transaltantisk och europeisk säkerhet , FORBEAvailable from: 2018-11-02 Created: 2018-11-02 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Engelbrekt, Kjell

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CiteExportLink to record
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