Zia Mian—physicist, nuclear expert and co-director of Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security—evaluates today’s nuclear arms threat, in conversation with Ambassador Cameron Munter.
Mian stresses the importance of focusing not just on long-term processes to shift the global narrative on nuclear weapons, but also to address the current circumstances that pose a discernible risk—such as India/Pakistan, and U.S. relations with Iran or South China Sea tensions.
The discussion also delves into climate change prediction models, which indicate that a very limited regional nuclear conflict would have an incredibly destructive impact. “Even use of 50 nuclear weapons each between India and Pakistan, a third of their nuclear arsenals, could lead to catastrophic fires that would cloud the sky across most of the world, and produce a catastrophic failure of agriculture and ecosystems that would last for more than 20 years.”
“As we begin to see these inadvertent and unexpected dangers of regional nuclear crisis, the urgency of intervention becomes greater, but the problem of intervention has become harder because of decades of neglect for other geopolitical and geo-strategic reasons,” Mian concludes.