Nuclear weapons, U.S. alliances, and Donald Trump

trump_natoIn September 2016, Stephan Frühling and Andrew O’Neil submitted a manuscript to Contemporary Security Policy entitled “Nuclear weapons, the United States and alliances in Europe and Asia: Toward an institutional perspective” (see also shorter blog post). This article argues that nuclear bargaining between the United States and allies in Europe and Asia cannot be seen independent from the wider institutional context in which alliance politics plays out. As such the article challenges the prism of “extended nuclear deterrence,” which provides too much a US-centred approach.

On the very morning of 9 November that the proofs of the Frühling/O’Neil article arrived, we woke up to the surprise news of a Donald Trump presidency. This immediately raised the important academic and policy question whether the findings of Frühling and O’Neil, on the importance of the institutional context, would continue to have relevance. After all, Trump had proposed during the campaign a “transactional approach” to foreign policy suggesting that European allies would only benefit from U.S. protection if they pay up, and that Asian allies might need to develop their own nuclear weapons. To assess the impact of the Trump presidency, and to foster academic debate, Jeffrey Knopf, Van Jackson, and Alexander Lanoszka have written responses to the Frühling/O’Neil article. Frühling and O’Neil have written a conclusion.

Debate: nuclear weapons, U.S. alliances, and Donald Trump

Stephan Frühling & Andrew O’Neil
Nuclear weapons, the United States and alliances in Europe and Asia: Toward an institutional perspective

Jeffrey Knopf
Security assurances and proliferation risks in the Trump administration

Van Jackson
Let’s make a (nuclear) deal: bargaining, credibility, and the third offset strategy

Alexander Lanoszka
Goodbye to all that? Institutionalist theory, U.S. alliances, and Donald Trump

Stephan Frühling & Andrew O’Neil
Nuclear weapons and alliance institutions in the era of President Trump