The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics

Paul Bracken

Overview: The cold war ended more than two decades ago, and with its end came a reduction in the threat of nuclear weapons―a luxury that we can no longer indulge. It's not just the threat of Iran getting the bomb or North Korea doing something rash; the whole complexion of global power politics is changing because of the reemergence of nuclear weapons as a vital element of statecraft and power politics. In short, we have entered the second nuclear age.

In this book, Paul Bracken of Yale University argues that the US needs to pay renewed attention to nuclear weapons and how their presence will transform the way crises develop and escalate. He walks the reader through realistic war-game scenarios to show how nuclear weapons are changing the calculus of power politics. Further, he offers a review of the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia to underscore how the United States must not allow itself to be unprepared for managing such crises.