Fighting a war in the nuclear shadow

Author name: 
Dr David Brewster
The Strategist

As NATO and Russia edge ever closer to conflict in Ukraine, a popular view is that any direct encounter between them will almost inevitably lead to nuclear war. Certainly, that’s the line that Russian President Vladimir Putin is spinning. In fact, history shows that there may be a lot of space for nuclear-armed adversaries to fight a limited conventional war without using nuclear weapons.

The National Security College (NSC), with the support of the Department of Defence, is leading a two-year research project on Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy in the Indian Ocean. As a part of this project, this paper analyses the modern relationship between nuclear weapons and limited conventional conflict. This paper first appeared in the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s ‘The Strategist’ on 10 March 2022.

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Updated:  21 May 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator