- Code STST8026
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Strategic Studies
- Areas of interest Political Sciences, Physics
- Academic career PGRD
- Prof Stephan Fruehling
- Mode of delivery Online or In Person
First Semester 2023
See Future Offerings
This course examines the theory and practice of nuclear strategy, with a particular focus on nuclear deterrence in the Indo-Pacific. While the end of the Cold War raised international hopes for the ultimate abolishment of nuclear weapons, the acquisition of nuclear weapons by India and Pakistan from 1998, followed by North Korea demonstrated their continuing attractiveness for at least some countries in the Indo-Pacific. As great power competition has intensified since 2014, the role of nuclear weapons in great power conflict has also experienced a resurgence, where many stratgic questions of the Cold War about deterrence credibility, strategic stability, the role of arms control pose themselves in a new form.
This course reviews the development and current state of nuclear weapons technology, and how nuclear weapons have enabled various deterrence and warfighting strategies during and after the Cold War. The United States, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and India are all discussed with a particular emphasis on the interplay and relationship between the political goals, available technology, and employment strategies, before the course concludes with a session on Australia's nuclear policy in past, present and future.
The course includes three 3-hour long debate sessions where the whole class will form teams to prepare and argue major questions of nuclear strategy.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of nuclear weapons technology as well as theories of deterrence for nuclear strategy;
- Place ideas and policies relating to nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy into their historical context
- Analyze the factors underlying nuclear strategies of countries in the Asia-Pacific; and
- Conduct research and communicate clearly about nuclear weapons related issues to academic and non-academic audiences.
- Short written assignment (20) [LO 1,4]
- Essay (40) [LO 1,3,4]
- Examination (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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130 hours throughout the semester.
No prescribed texts
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- 6 units
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