Analyzing and Reducing the Risks of Inadvertent Nuclear War between the United States and Russia
Science and Global Security 21(2): 106-133
27 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2016
Date Written: June 28, 2013
This paper develops a mathematical modeling framework using fault trees and Poisson processes for analyzing the risks of inadvertent nuclear war from U.S. or Russian misinterpretation of false alarms in early warning systems, and for assessing the potential value of inadvertence risk reduction options. The model also uses publicly available information on early-warning systems, near-miss incidents, and other factors to estimate probabilities of a U.S.-Russia crisis, the rates of false alarms, and the probabilities that leaders will launch missiles in response to a false alarm. The paper discusses results, uncertainties, limitations, and policy implications.
Keywords: international security, nuclear weapons, risk
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