PONI Debates the Issues: U.S.-China Mutual Vulnerability

April 16 – 17, 2012

Resolved: that the United States should not limit or reduce U.S. societal vulnerability to Chinese strategic attack.

Linton Brooks on the affirmative; Keith Payne on the negative

The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) is pleased to invite you to a debate on whether the United States should accept vulnerability to Chinese strategic attack. The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report says that the United States should pursue "strategic stability" with China, which has led to renewed debate about the definition of stability and the appropriate U.S. stance vis-à-vis China. Some argue that the United States should go further and explicitly acknowledge that China has achieved a survivable nuclear second strike capability, which could bring more clarity to the relationship. Others believe that the United States should expand its strategic offensive and defensive capabilities as much as possible to enhance deterrence and, in the worst case scenario, limit damage to the United States and its allies. How would accepting mutual vulnerability meaningfully alter U.S. policy? Would it in fact lead to a more stable relationship with China? At what cost? These questions will be debated by two experts on the issue.

Ambassador Linton Brooks, Nonresident Senior Advisor, Center for Stategic and International Studies. Dr. Keith Payne, CEO and President, National Institute for Public Policy.

This event is the 16th installment of PONI's ongoing live debate series, which is an extension of the PONI Debates the Issues blog. The objective of the series is to provide a forum for in-depth exploration of the arguments on both sides of key nuclear policy issues. Please join us for what promises to be an exciting debate on a crucial issue of concern for the nonproliferation community, international security analysts, and regional specialists focusing on East Asia.

A live video feed of the debate can be accessed here.

RSVP to David Slungaard at dslungaard@csis.org.

Clark A. Murdock

Clark A. Murdock

Former Senior Adviser (Non-resident), International Security Program