On April 21-23, 2021, CERL and the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) hosted a conference entitled Left of Launch: Communication & Threat Escalation in a Nuclear Age. We are pleased to present the conference report.
The issues addressed at this conference are at the fore of today’s geopolitical climate. As CERL Faculty Director Claire Finkelstein and CERL Executive Board member Jules Zacher note in the cover letter to the report, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated the risk that countries engaged in conventional armed conflict will employ nuclear weapons. Now more than ever, it is critical to consider the legal principles that underlie nuclear policy and deterrence.
The conference consisted of one public keynote panel and five private sessions, all featuring high-level experts from around the globe. Because the closed-door sessions adhered to Chatham House Rule, experts are not identified by name.
Read the report, which covers:
- Current nuclear policy and nuclear capability
- Shortcomings of the legal framework for nuclear policy and deterrence
- Nuclear weapons as a form of signaling and strategic communication
- The role international law plays in shaping nuclear dialogue
- How artificial intelligence affects compliance with international humanitarian law
- The origin and history of the War Powers Resolution
- Debate around the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)