Research event

Deadly Gifts: Why has the United States deployed nuclear weapons in other countries?

Alexander Sorg, PhD researcher at the Centre for International Security, presents his research on the strategic deployment of nuclear weapons. This event is part of the Centre's International Security Research Colloquium.

Since 1954, the United States has deployed nuclear weapons to 14 countries, five of which still hold these armaments. Despite the long history of such deployments, there remains ambiguity about the strategic factors that led to them. For example, today many experts argue that NATO’s tactical nuclear weapons serve no military purpose. Yet, they still remain stationed in Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey. Which non-military factors play a role in the US nuclear weapons deployments? How are nuclear weapons used to maintain and solidify alliance relationships?

In his PhD, Alexander Sorg examines the strategic logic of US foreign deployed nuclear weapons. He argue that these deployments can be partially attributed to reasons of assurance. While there exists a vast body of research on coercive strategies of interstate relations, such as deterrence, the literature on non-coercive strategies, such as assurance, is much more limited. Sorg's research addresses two gaps in this literature. First, it adds nuance to the study of the strategic rationales behind foreign deployed nuclear weapons. Second, it contributes conceptually and empirically to our understanding of assurance. To test his hypothesis, Sorg is in the process of creating a new dataset on US nuclear weapons deployments.



About the speaker