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Asymmetric arms control and strategic stability: Scenarios for limiting hypersonic glide vehicles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-813
Number of pages25
JournalThe Journal of Strategic Studies
Issue number6
Early online date22 Aug 2019
Accepted/In press22 Jun 2019
E-pub ahead of print22 Aug 2019
Published31 Oct 2019


King's Authors


Can arms control incorporate emerging technology? Other articles in this special issue identify potential risks emerging technologies pose to stability and how they are intertwined with international politics. Is there a future for multilateral strategic arms control? This article looks ahead to explore how arms control might reduce those risks but in order to do so we must update concepts of both arms control and strategic stability. Building on Thomas Schelling and Morton Halperin’s seminal study into the relationship between strategic stability and arms control, this article offers an original framework – asymmetric arms control – for incorporating new technologies, which is then used to identify six scenarios for arms control of hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). It concludes that arms control can potentially reduce the risks to strategic stability associated with emerging technologies by incorporating dynamism into arms control design. Ultimately, asymmetric arms control can best contribute to strategic stability by crossing domains and reflecting the cross-domain nature of international conflict, and the framework has potential application to emerging technologies beyond HGVs.

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