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Nuclear Deterrence Works

Chaired by Simon Longstaff
Sat 4 April 2:00pm Marconi Room
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Sat 4 April 2:00pm Marconi Room
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Nuclear weapons embody humanity’s capacity for wanton destruction, but are they also the ultimate guarantor of national security?

Nuclear weapons are the technological embodiment of humanity’s capacity for wanton destruction . Many of those who created them were appalled at what they had done. Yet, the deterrent power of nuclear weapons is also credited with helping to prevent another world war. As the international world order breaks down, is there an argument for reconsidering nuclear weapons as the ultimate guarantor of national security? Or in the face of other technological developments, are they already simply too dangerous and redundant to keep?

Neither Australia nor the US has any interest in deploying US nuclear weapons in Australia. But we cannot assume this will pertain into the future. Whether we like it or not, deterrence will be central to the strategic shape of things to come…
Stephan Frühling


Professor Stephan Frühling is the Associate Dean (Education) of the College of Asia and the Pacific of the Australian National University.

He researches and teaches in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, and has widely published on Australian defence policy, defence planning and strategy, nuclear weapons and NATO.

Stephan was the Fulbright Professional Fellow in Australia-US Alliance Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC in 2017. He worked as a ‘Partner across the globe’ research fellow in the Research Division of the NATO Defense College in Rome in 2015, and was a member of the Australian Government’s External Panel of Experts on the development of the 2016 Defence White Paper.

Previously, he was the inaugural Director of Studies of the ANU Master in Military Studies program at the Australian Defence Force’s Australian Command and Staff College, where he worked from 2011 to 2013, and Managing Editor of the Kokoda Foundation’s journal Security Challenges from 2006 to 2014.