Andrew O’Neil

Andrew O’Neil is Acting Dean of the Graduate Research School and Professor of Political Science at Griffith University. Prior to entering academia full-time, and after completing his PhD, he worked as a Commonwealth public servant with Australia’s Department of Defence. He is a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts and is a former member of the National Consultative Committee on National Security Issues.

Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation »

Managing Deterrence in the 21st Century

Publication date: December 2021
In an era of great power competition, the role of alliances in managing escalation of conflict has acquired renewed importance. Nuclear weapons remain the ultimate means for deterrence and controlling escalation, and are central to US alliances in Europe and the Indo-Pacific. However, allies themselves need to better prepare for managing escalation in an increasingly challenging geostrategic and technological environment for the US and its allies. While the challenge of great power competition is acute at both ends of Eurasia, adversary threats, geography and the institutional context of US alliances differ. This book brings together leading experts from Europe, Northeast Asia, the United States and Australia to focus on these challenges, identify commonalities and differences across regions, and pinpoint ways to collectively manage nuclear deterrence and potential escalation pathways in America’s 21st century alliances. ‘Nuclear weapons play an important role in deterrence and preventing military conflict between great powers, while also posing an existential threat to humanity. It is vital that we have a nuanced understanding of this important challenge, so that such weapons are never used. This book offers many important perspectives and makes a significant contribution to the overall debate about these powerful weapons.’ — The Hon Julie Bishop, Chancellor, The Australian National University, Former Foreign Minister of Australia ‘This timely book identifies a wide range of challenges US alliances both in the Indo-Pacific and Euro-Atlantic face as they seek to ensure the value of US extended deterrence, particular the US nuclear umbrella, against China and Russia. This unique collection of chapters written by experts in US allies in both regions presents widely varying security perceptions and priorities. To understand such differences is the key to globally strengthen the US alliance systems, which are a significant advantage Washington enjoys over the two competitors.’ — Yukio Satoh, former President of The Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) ‘This is a timely and thoughtful collection of essays that should serve to jumpstart public discussion and debate—the absence of which is widely noted and much bemoaned. Each contributor examines an aspect of the complicated, multifaceted nuclear debate by discussing the range of dilemmas from deterrence to disarmament. The various views set out here are more relevant than ever as Russia, China and the United States flex their nuclear muscles in new and sometimes dangerous ways. This book should be read by anyone interested in the preventing the use of nuclear weapons and understanding complexities of alliances in an increasingly dangerous world.’ — Madelyn Creedon, former Principal Deputy Administrator of the US National Nuclear Security Administration and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs
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