Averting Catastrophe: Walking the Talk on Nuclear Risk Reduction & Crisis Communication
Leah Walker, Dr. Tong Zhao, Dr. Todd Sechser, and Dmitry Stefanovich
The recent news of Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security advisor, engaging in confidential conversations with top aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasizes the importance of keeping the lines of communication open to deter and prevent the risk of escalation. Although most states agree that the need for nuclear risk reduction is more urgent than ever, the pathways to peace are elusive.
On this panel, we explored some of the tangible risk reduction measures that states can adopt. How can states build greater transparency and predictability to prevent or manage crises when prevention fails? What are the Chinese and Russian perspectives on nuclear risks, and how can American policymakers avoid misperceptions, miscalculations, and inadvertent escalation?
On November 16, the Institute for Security and Technology (IST) hosted a conversation about these issues with Dr. Tong Zhao, Visiting Research Scholar in the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University; Dr. Todd Sechser, Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Virginia; and Dmitry Stefanovich, Research Fellow at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, moderated by Leah Walker, Senior Defense Associate at IST.