Mechanisms and Functions of Nuclear Deterrence: Historical Development of US Nuclear Strategic Theory
The Emergence and Development of the Concept of Deterrence
The idea of deterrence as such has an extremely long history. In his History of the War, which is known for its account of the Peloponnesian War, the oldest recorded war in human history, Thucydides recounts how Athenian leaders mobilized their troops and deployed their fleets to make the opponents reconsider launching attacks and thereby prevent hostile attacks. Of course, the Grecian idea of deterrence was not sufficiently systemic to be called a theory but was a practical habit adopted by Greeks to check adversaries' actions harmful to their interests.
The concept of deterrence became increasingly systematized with the end of World War II and the advent of nuclear weapons. Generally speaking, in many cases, "deterrence means discouraging the enemy from taking military action by posing for him a prospect of cost and risk overweighing his prospective gain." 1 Three conditions are prerequisites for deterrence to work: (1) a party's capability to impose an intolerable cost on its opponent, (2) the party's intention to use their capability, and (3) mutual recognition of the gravity of the situation both the party and its opponent face.
In the theorizing process, the concept of deterrence fell into the distinct concepts of "punitive deterrence" and "denial deterrence" based on differences in modalities. Punitive deterrence is an attempt to deter an opponent by showcasing the readiness to inflict an intolerable blow in retaliation for its action. As far as deterrence by military force is concerned, an asset ensuring this punitive deterrence is strategic nuclear forces represented by ICBMs that can reach the opponent's urban areas and inflict large-scale damage.
However, if the threat of retaliation falls short of deterring the opponent's hostile action, the capability to deny its action by force will become necessary. This type of deterrence is called "denial deterrence," a counter-concept of punitive deterrence. In the early stages of the Cold War, conventional forces deployed on the European front were the primary means of implementing denial deterrence. Yet, as the US nuclear strategy evolved, non-strategic nuclear weapons (tactical nuclear weapons) to attack enemy military targets and active defense capabilities like missile defense were also introduced. In addition to these, passive defense capabilities to limit nuclear strike damage by the installation of nuclear shelters and evacuation measures are also discussed as an element of denial deterrence.
Debates over the US nuclear strategy have swung back and forth about how to define the roles of punitive deterrence and denial deterrence. The remainder of this article is an overview of major debates on the US nuclear strategy from the Eisenhower administration through the Biden administration.
The Emergence of Massive Retaliation Strategy and Its Criticism
In 1946, military strategist Bernard Brodie first proposed the idea of "nuclear deterrence." He coined the word "absolute weapon" in the sense that it must never be used for military purposes to name nuclear weapons endowed with overwhelming destructive power not found in conventional weapons. He argued that the role of nukes should be limited to deterrence as such. 2 At that time, the United States, economically exhausted in the wake of World War II, had to establish, financially constrained as it was, a deterrent posture against the Soviet Union. Such a strategic imperative became even more urgent as war expenditures mushroomed as the country became involved in the Korean War that began in 1950. With this as background, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles launched the "Massive Retaliation Strategy" in 1954, which was the idea of deterring any Soviet military action by declaring large-scale retaliatory attacks with nuclear weapons against Soviet urban areas in retaliation for the numerically superior Soviet forces' potential invasion of Europe.
The Massive Retaliation Strategy, aimed at compensating for the lack of denial capabilities (conventional forces) with the punitive capabilities of nuclear weapons, appeared to be a cost-effective deterrent posture, but it soon encountered many problems.
The first problem arose when the prospect of maintaining a temporary comparative advantage in nuclear weapons and delivery means over the Soviet Union vanished sooner than expected due to the Soviet advancement. The "Sputnik Shock" or the "Missile Gap" demonstrated that Soviet ICBM technology, which had been underrated at that time, was superior to that of the United States.
The second is a capability-rigidity paradox. While the Massive Retaliation Strategy set a high initial threshold for escalation by depending on the powerful punitive deterrence of nuclear weapons, it envisaged no other option than retaliating with strategic nuclear weapons if that threshold had been overcome (deterrence failed). This is because proponents of Brodie-style nuclear deterrence implicitly assumed that the nuclear threat could deter all subsequent conflicts.
If deterrence by massive retaliation were to fail, the United States would be obliged to choose between "surrender or all-out nuclear war." The solution to this "nuclear stalemate" was the limited nuclear war theory that advocates carrying out limited nuclear war while maintaining superiority over the Soviet Union. Robert Osgood, the foremost proponent of the limited nuclear war theory in his time, began his argument by searching for a way to use military power as a rational tool in foreign policy. This is a direct refutation of the Brodie-style nuclear deterrence theory, which argues that the nuclear age made it more difficult for war to be "an extension of politics by other means." 3
According to Osgood, the rational use of military power requires a strategy of the kind that helps deter large-scale aggression that could lead to total war; deter or defeat small-scale aggression that falls short of total war. Four concrete measures to prevent a limited war from developing into an all-out war include: (1) setting limits on political objectives, (2) setting limits on military means, (3) setting geographical limits on the area of engagement, and (4) limiting weapons targets.
Henry Kissinger further developed the limited nuclear war theory. Kissinger followed Osgood's footsteps and added to his discussion the following minimum conditions for limiting war: (1) the two parties concerned should recognize each other's sanctuary exempt from attack, leaving the enemy's retaliatory capability intact; (2) instead of launching a series of successive attacks, the two parties should seek for political talks whenever war reaches a new stage and pursue military operations step by step; and (3) their aims should not be to defeat the enemy but to affect its will to carry out war.
Efforts were made by some strategists to reassess the effectiveness of damage limitation and denial deterrence as a solution to the "nuclear stalemate." For example, Albert Wohlstetter, who worked at the RAND Corporation linked closely to the US Air Force, conducted research on the forward deployment of bombers critical to retaliation. His analysis revealed the vulnerability of bombers to a Soviet first strike. He urged the military leadership to build out strike and defense capabilities to win a nuclear war.
Kissinger and Wohlstetter's arguments were focused primarily on the vulnerability of US security and strategic forces. Meanwhile, Englishman Anthony W. Buzzard also criticized mass retaliation but his discussion is unique in originating in concerns about the credibility of US extended deterrence. The Massive Retaliation Strategy concerned US allies not only whether it could deter a nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union but also whether it could deter limited wars that might break out in other regions than America or Russia. 4
With this awareness in mind, Buzzard argued that it would be impossible to contain a Soviet invasion of Europe with conventional forces alone, listing three scenarios as possible measures for the Western powers, including the United States and Britain, to take: (1) address a local invasion with the risk of all-out war in mind; (2) substantially increase conventional forces; and (3) defense by limited nuclear war. Buzzard concludes that limited nuclear war is the optimum defense strategy. However, he did not unconditionally support limited nuclear war. He emphasizes the importance of endeavors in the lead-up to limited nuclear war: arrangements that facilitate it for the Western camp to receive aid; maintaining superiority in tactical nuclear weapons at the disposal of land, sea, and air forces; and possessing a powerful strategic nuclear arsenal in the background. These arguments should be referred to in addressing the challenges the United States and Japan face today regarding extended deterrence.
Flexible Response Strategy and Assured Destruction Strategy
Debates critical of the Massive Retaliation Strategy affected new strategy development. The Kennedy administration, inaugurated in 1961, instructed Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor, who was later to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to undertake a thorough review of the Massive Retaliation Strategy. In 1962, the administration adopted a new nuclear policy guideline, the "Flexible Response Strategy," which admits that nuclear weapons alone do not generate deterrence and emphasizes establishing capabilities to wage war with military superiority under whatever condition. It dictates avoiding attacks on urban areas in the early stages of a conflict and prioritizing attacks on enemy military targets to avert rapid escalation. To tell the truth, this strategy heavily relies on the ideas of Wohlstetter and others as far as its emphasizing denial deterrence to exhaust Soviet forces swiftly, thereby limiting Western losses, or its aiming to conclude conflict at a stage short of all-out war (i.e., limited nuclear war).
The idea of the Flexible Response Strategy to control escalation with response measures addressing all levels of intensity is still today considered an ideal deterrence theory. However, when the Soviet Union's nuclear buildup began in earnest in the late 1960s, the situation became such that any attempt on the US side to acquire damage-limitation capabilities would easily be offset. In 1965, while maintaining the flexible response principle, McNamara announced the "Assured Destruction Strategy," which states that even if an enemy were ready to launch a first strike, the United States could deter hostile nuclear attacks on it and its allies by demonstrating a credible second strike capability that would ultimately inflict intolerable damage on the enemy.
Establishment of Mutually Assured Destruction and Rekindling of the Nuclear Strategy Debate
Nonetheless, the Soviet Union continued to expand its nuclear arsenal, and the United States and the Soviet Union were gradually forced to accept a situation of mutually assured destruction. As a result, from the 1970s onward, Americans saw a renewed debate over whether the United States and the Soviet Union should aim to maintain strategic stability based on mutual vulnerability or whether they should break away from the mutually assured destruction situation and aim for superiority in war-fighting capabilities. A symbolic ramification of this debate was the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) proposed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, a grand vision of neutralizing Soviet nuclear missiles by linking space systems such as early warning satellites and laser satellites with ground-based interceptor systems—part of which underpins current ballistic missile defense technology. The SDI markedly reflected the strategy debate trend that pursued the possibility of winning a war by strengthening denial deterrence, rejecting to accept a mutually assured destruction situation. Yet, the United States' establishment of defense superiority could theoretically allow them to launch a preemptive attack without risking retaliation. This fear could lead the Soviet Union to launch a preemptive strike. Some criticized the SDI for potentially destabilizing strategic stability.
Although the majority of the plans envisioned for the SDI were not completed and not put into practical use before the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the American conservative community even today persistently believes that the Reagan administration's ambitious military expansion exhausted the Soviet Union and hastened the end of the Cold War. On the other hand, in the late 1980s, negotiations progressed on disarmament and arms control that attempted to improve transparency and strategic stability between the United States and the Soviet Union, leading to the creation of the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). The US nuclear policy during the late-Cold War era is subject to varying interpretations.
The End of the Cold War and the Beginning of "Nuclear Oblivion"
Although the end of the Cold War brought a relative decline in the importance of nuclear strategy in US national defense policy, the US homeland did not become free from threat. During the review of threat perceptions in the 1990s and 2000s, there was increased vigilance against "rogue states" such as Iraq and North Korea, which were feared to possess or proliferate weapons of mass destruction, as well as terror and other asymmetric threats in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This led to a reassessment of non-nuclear strike capabilities that can be used for disarming attacks and denial deterrence like missile defense, as means of dealing with threats for which punitive deterrence is ineffective. The 2002 "Nuclear Posture Review (NPR)" of the George W. Bush administration demonstrated this trend. The document identified the "new nuclear triad" to sustain a comprehensive deterrence posture: (1) flexible strike capabilities including conventional weapons on top of the previous "nuclear triad" (ICBMs, SLBMs, strategic bombers); (2) defense capabilities such as missile defense; and (3) supportive technological infrastructure capable of immediate response. The 2002 NPR constituted the backbone of the Bush doctrine that did not dismiss preemptive attacks.
In his 2009 Prague speech, which contributed to his winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Barack Obama, first in his capacity as US president, expressed his dedication to realizing a nuclear-free world. He promoted disarmament and arms control initiatives, including the New START, a step to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in national security. President Obama's personal inclinations are discernible in the 2010 NPR, which positioned the prevention of nuclear terrorism and proliferation at the top of the nuclear agenda and articulated in terms of force structure that the nuclear-armed version of the Tomahawk Land-Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM-N) would be retired and its redeployment option abandoned. Regarding strategic stability, the document stated that the United States would liberate itself from the narrow interpretation predicated on mutual vulnerability that was in vogue during the Cold War and seek to achieve comprehensive strategic stability, placing a particular emphasis on strategic stability with Russia and China.
A Return to Great Power Competition and the End of "Nuclear Oblivion"
In the period from the late 2000s to around 2010, there was a latent positive assessment that relations between the United States and major powers over nuclear weapons would improve to a certain extent. However, various changes in the security environment that occurred during the eight years of the Obama administration—Russia's invasion of Crimea, the buildup of China's Anti-Access and Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities through expanding missile forces, North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and ICBMs, etc.—disappointed Americans.
The 2018 NPR of the Donald Trump administration recognized that the focus of the nuclear issue had returned to the great power competition with Russia and China. The document expressed a sense of crisis about the two country's behavior: (1) violating or neglecting international arrangements; (2) increasing their strategic and non-strategic nuclear capabilities; (3) challenging—with increased nuclear capabilities as background—US conventional superiority through improving capabilities associated with space, cyber, and A2/AD and enlarging underground facilities; and (4) attempts to change the status quo and to challenge the international order by force. As concrete measures to counter these challenges, the Trump administration dismissed the "sole-purpose" nuclear policy considered by the Obama administration and, by introducing low-yield SLBMs, endeavored to achieve the flexibility to counter the escalation deterrence strategy.
The 2022 NPR released by the Joe Biden administration in October 2022 also contains various elements that indicate continuity with the nuclear policies of the previous administrations. (1) It reaffirms the need for the "nuclear triad," B61-12 nuclear bombs used in nuclear sharing with NATO, and their deployment spots. (2) It acknowledges that Russia and China are pursuing strategies using limited nuclear blackmail to achieve expansionist goals, pointing out that the United States should have the flexibility to adjust its deterrent to counter such strategies. (3) It pledges to allocate funds for the modernization of nuclear industrial infrastructure. (4) It does not adopt as its declared policy a "sole-purpose" approach that limits the role of US nuclear weapons to nuclear deterrence but recognizes the need to deter threats that could give a devastating blow to the United States and its allies by means other than nuclear weapons. (5) It reaffirms that the US nuclear strategy consistently pursues strikes against military targets and does not pursue a policy that intentionally targets civilians. (6) It declares largely continuing the nuclear modernization program initiated by the Obama administration and wholly taken over by the Trump administration.
Although these elements generally enjoy bipartisan support within the US strategic community, it is not sufficient to merely carry on the existing policy, without consideration of the dramatic change in the security environment where the United States is facing two nuclear superpowers, Russia and China, simultaneously for the first time in its history. The US strategic community has pointed out the following: (1) While referring to the possibility that the scale of China's nuclear capabilities could expand to become on par with that of the United States and Russia by the 2030s, the 2022 NPR goes no further than to say that "a near-simultaneous conflict with two nuclear-armed states would constitute an extreme circumstance," but fails to indicate the need or concrete means to practically deter China and Russia at the same time. (2) If China continues to expand its nuclear arsenal, the current US nuclear posture will not be able to deal with two fronts simultaneously, and the US government will be obliged to decide on a quantitative buildup of nuclear weapons. This is no longer a question of "whether to increase" but rather "when to start increasing." (3) The buildup of a nuclear arsenal, assuming a simultaneous response to China and Russia, will require more than simply reloading nuclear warheads, which had been unloaded following the New START, into surplus space on board missiles and bombers. It is necessary not only to reload old warheads currently in storage but also to expand the nuclear industrial infrastructure to design, produce, and deploy new warheads in the long term. (4) The 2022 NPR eliminated the phrase "hedge against an uncertain future" representing the long-standing, bipartisan-supported formal role of nuclear weapons. This policy change is logically inconsistent given that we are facing the most uncertain security environment in history. (5) The 2022 NPR declares the need to reduce the role of nuclear weapons, but the relevant definition is unclear, failing to explain how to accomplish what. (6) The document states that the current security environment does not favor the adoption of the "sole purpose" nuclear policy. But it does not deny the willingness to ultimately shift to the "sole purpose" nuclear policy. (7) The document gives a positive assessment of the W76-2 low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead, introduced by the Trump administration, for its role in deterring limited nuclear strikes. Contradictorily, however, it discusses potential alternatives to the W76-2. (8) The 2022 NPR decided to cancel the sea-launched nuclear cruise missile (SLCM-N) program that the Trump administration declared to introduce.
Implications for Japan
The above comments on the 2022 NPR are worth our attention in considering Japan's nuclear policy and the extended deterrence policies of the United States and Japan. The United States has consistently reduced its nuclear arsenal qualitatively and quantitatively since the end of the Cold War due to its overwhelming superiority in conventional forces. However, in the Indo-Pacific region, where the United States faces China, its superiority in conventional forces is no longer self-evident. In Europe and the Korean Peninsula, where the West continues to maintain its superiority in conventional forces, Russia and North Korea are increasing their dependence on nuclear weapons to compensate for their inferiority in conventional forces. Consequently, it will be essential for the United States to strengthen its nuclear deterrence capability to dispel the "nuclear specter" that those states are raising.
"G7 Leaders' Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament at the G7 Hiroshima Summit," released on May 19, 2023, says, "The overall decline in global nuclear arsenals achieved since the end of the Cold War must continue and not be reversed." However, while Russia, China, and North Korea continue to expand their nuclear arsenals, it does not stand to reason that the United States must remain under the New START ceiling, still less that it must continue to be committed to unilateral nuclear disarmament, in light of the security environment facing the United States and Japan. Reducing the number and the roles of nuclear weapons means that at some point, the United States will be forced to abandon the principle it has maintained since the Flexible Response Strategy—the principle of prioritizing strikes on military objectives to avoid escalation. If its superiority in conventional forces is undermined and, as a result, it becomes incapacitated to pursue a strategy that prioritizes attack on military objectives, the United States will be ultimately forced to resort to retaliatory attacks on urban areas faster than its opponent, or to give up on retaliation and withdraw. This is a similar situation as when the Massive Retaliation Strategy was criticized years ago. Any policy that puts a country in a situation in which to choose a mass murder of innocent civilians or to give up vital national interests is hardly a morally correct one.
Sooner or later, the United States will decide to enhance quantitative nuclear capabilities. Japan should not wait for the United States to make a decision but should proactively consider what US nuclear posture and strategy align with its national security interests.
Masashi Murano is a research fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington.
(Translation by Tsutomu Inuzuka)
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- September, 2020, "The EU's Response to COVID-19 and International Relations" by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- August, 2020, "The Corona Crisis Seen from a Macroeconomic Perspective" written by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
- August, 2020, "The Coronavirus Pandemic and Japan's Infectious Disease Control" written by Takashi Mihara, Senior Research Fellow, NLI Research Institute
- August, 2020, "Infectious Disease Crisis Control in Japan- Recommendations on an Exit Strategy -" written by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor, Hosei University
- August, 2020, "Security against Infectious Disease Threats --- Policy Responses Abroad" written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- June 2020,"Transformation of the International Order in the Middle East--- Varying Degrees of "Stateness" and Three Directions of the New Order" written by Satoshi Ikeuchi, Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
- June 2020,"Destabilization in the Middle East and its Impacts on Japan's Energy Security" written by Amane Kobayashi, Research Fellow, The Institute of Energy Economics
- May 2020: Urgent Recommendations "Toward a V-shaped Recovery after the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic "Coronavirus Testing for All" --- the First Step of the Next Phase"
- May 2020: "US Diplomacy toward Iran: Economic Sanctions as a Diplomatic Tool" Hiroki Sugita Columnist, Kyodo News
- "Russian Factors in the Middle East" Taisuke Abiru Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- "The SDF Dispatches to the Middle East --- History and Significance" Ippeita Nishida Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Space and Security" Kazuto Suzuki Professor, Hokkaido University
- March 2020, "The US Security Space Policy --- With a Focus on the Establishment of Two Space Forces" Yasuhito Fukushima Chief Researcher, The National Institute for Defense Studies
- March 2020, "China's Recent Activities in Space and Cyberspace" Bonji Ohara Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Environmental Security and Japan" Takashi Sekiyama Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- March 2020, "Changes in Global Environment and Security --- US Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
- February 2020, "Cyberspace Security" Motohiro Tsuchiya Professor, Keio University
- February 2020, "Japan's Space and Cyberspace Policy" Yukinari Hirose Former President of the National Institute for Defense Studies
- December 2019, "The US-China Confrontation --- Where Will Hegemony Reside Next?" Akio Takahara Professor, the University of Tokyo
- December 2019, "Challenges Facing the Chinese Economy" Osamu Tanaka Chief Senior Researcher, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
- December 2019, "US Strategic Perception on China: Implications for US Allied Partners" Tsuneo Watanabe Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- November 2019, "The Xi Jinping Administration's View of the International Order– China's emphasis on United Nations diplomacy and liberal economic policies−" Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- November 2019, "The Future of China's Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- November 2019, "China --- Its Confidence and Anxiety" Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- August 2019: Several Perspectives on the Korean Peninsula Issue--- The Deteriorating Japan-South Korea Relationship and the Uncertain Denuclearization of North Korea --- By Masahiro Akiyama Chairman, the SSDP
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea--- What is the Stance of North Korea?---", Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea --- How will the US move?", Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2019, "Discussion on Denuclearization of North Korea", SSDP Discussion Meeting on May 8, 2019
- May 2019: "Current Status and Prospects of South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History: How to address the Judicial Problems", Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- May 2019: "South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History" (Comments), Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- May 2019: Japan and South Korea Relationships (Question & Answer)
- March 2019: "The Present State and Prospects of the Indian Economy and Economic Policies" written by Koji Kobayashi, Senior Economist Mizuho Research Institute Ltd.
- March 2019: "The "Modi diplomacy" in the History of Indian diplomacy--- Departure from or maintenance of the traditional diplomacy? ---" written by Toru Ito, The National Defense Academy of Japan
- February 2019: Dynamics of Indian Politics and the 2019 General Elections, written by Chiharu Takenaka, Professor of Rikkyo University
- February 2019: "Cooperative Strategy" to Realize "Competitive Strategy"--- The composite structure of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision) ---, written by Matake Kamiya, Professor at The National Defense Academy of Japan
- January 2019:, A paper, "How will the US midterm elections results affect the Trump administration's foreign policy for 2019?" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2019:, A paper, "The Present and Future of the International Trade Order" , written by Akihiko Tamura, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- December 2018: The US-China Competition and Japan, written by Ryo Sahashi, Professor at Kanagawa University
- December 2018: An Outlook for the US-China Trade War―What makes the two economically interdependent superpowers confront each other?―, written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate professor at Toyo University
- September 2018: Proposal, "The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Restoration of Peace in the Korean Peninsula― Correct Perceptions and Eight Proposals on Japan's North Korea Diplomacy－" edited by the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- September 2018: "The Taiwan Policy of the Xi Jinping Administration in its Second Term: An Outlook on Cross-Strait Relations in the New Era" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor of the Tokyo University
- July 2018: "The EU States and Russia on North Korea Issues- Expansion of Influence through Diplomacy: Attempts and Limitations -" lectured by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of Keio University
- "An Assessment of the US-North Korea Summit and an Outlook for the Future of the Korean Peninsula" lectured by Junya Nishino, Professor of Keio University
- "Korean Peninsula Issue and Japan's Future Security Policy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2018: "US North Korea policy affected by personnel changes in the Trump administration" lectured by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- "China-North Korea relationship under Xi Jinping" lectured by Shin Kawashima, Professor of the Tokyo University.
- "North Korean Denuclearization and Russia" lectured by Nobuo Shimotomai, Professor of the Hosei University.
- March 2018: "The Network Hegemony Theory for a Security Architecture in The Asia Pacific Region" lectured by Masahiro Akiyama, Chairman, the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- January 2018: "A Destabilized Middle East" lectured by Koichiro Tanaka, Professor, Keio University
- December 2017: "Problems in Sino-Japanese Relations, 1992-2042" lectured by Ezra F. Vogel, Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University
- November 2017: "The Future of the Asia-Pacific Region" written by Yoriko Kawaguchi, Fellow, the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, Former Minister Foreign Affairs
- October 2017: "A New Trend in India's Foreign Policy and Japan" Written by HIROSE,Takako, Professor, Senshu University
- August 2017: "The Shocks that shook the Transatlantic World and their Implication for Japan's Foreign Policy" written by HOSOYA, Yuichi, Professor, Keio University
- August 2017: "Does Economic Interdependence not Encourage Collaboration? ―Thinking Japan-China Relations from an Economic Perspective―" written by Takashi SEKIYAMA, Ph.D., Toyo University
- July 2017: Proposal article "The Trump Administration's Impact on the Cross-Strait Relations" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Ph.D.
- June 2017: Proposal article "The outlook for the relationship between two great powers and implications for Japanese diplomacy" written by Professor Shin Kawashima
- May 2017: (Emergency Proposal) Facing the Inconvenient Truth: Re-examining Policy for Peace and Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (Chief author, Masao Okonogi)
- March 2017: "Economic Influences of the Trump Administration" written by Professor Motoshige Ito
- February, 2017: Proposal article "Trump's Foreign and Security Policy - Unpredictable President, Realistic Secretaries - " written by Mr. Tsuneo Watanabe is posted on the website of SSDP.
- December, 2016: Proposal article "Reconsidering North Korea Policy: How to Deal with a Nuclear Armed Divided States" written by Professor Masao Okonogi is posted on the website of SSDP.
- Taiwan-Japan Round Table on August 24th, at Capital Tokyu Hotel
- Japan-Korea Political Leaders Dialogue was held on February 10th,2023 at International House of Japan
- March 2022, A remembrance seminar "Remembering Professor Ezra Vogel" held on January 17, 2022
- March 2021, Japan-ROK Parliamentary Dialogue -Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Era of US-China Competition- held on March 11, 2021
- December 2020: The report of the Japan-ROK Future Dialogue held on November 21 to discuss "Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Post-Covid-19 Era
- October 2020: "Responses to COVID-19 and Agendas for the Post-COVID-19 Era", A Brief Overview of the Japan-Korea Experts Dialogue held on July 29,30, 2020
- October 2020: "The China-Taiwan Confrontation over Corona Response and Taiwan's Security" written by Makoto Ogata, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- May 2020: "Rivalries in the Middle East in New Security Dynamics", Written by Sayed Ghoneim, Major General (retired) of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Chairman, Institute for Global Security & Defence Affairs
- March 2020: The Japan-South Korea Relationship in a Cul-de-Sac--- Where is an Exit ? Masao Okonogi Professor Emeritus, Keio Universit
- December 2019: The Hong Kong Upheaval and the Future of Cross-Straits Relations－The 2019 Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue Report OGATA, Makoto Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- August 2019: Report; 2019 FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE --Sustainable Prosperity and Future of Korea-U.S.-Japan Cooperation-- By Future Consensus Institute (Yeosijae)
- June 2019: Report on India – Japan Security Dialogue 2019 by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D Student, The University of Tokyo
June 2019: Four papers on Japan-India Cooperation submitted to India-Japan Security Dialogue 2019
Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
The Significance and Possibilities of India-Japan Cooperation in the Concept of the Indo-Pacific
Toru ITO Associate Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
Japan-India Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context - Operationalizing the Security Aspect of the Indo-Pacific Vision –
Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
India-US-Japan Defense Cooperation: What's next?
Dr. Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute
- Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
- November 2018: "The Present State of the Japanese Economy and Policy Issues" lectured by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo.
- November 2018: "Expanding Social Security Expenses and Fiscal Reforms" lectured by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor at Hosei University.
- September 2018: "Taiwan Identity and Cross-Strait Relations and Trump's Taiwan Policy and the Future of Taiwan-US Relations-Discussion at The Second Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue (June 21, 2018, Taipei)-" written by OGATA, Makoto
- September 2018: "Japan-Taiwan Dialogue 2018 Minutes", 21st June 2018, Taipei, Taiwan.
- July 2018: Report on The Second Japan – Philippines Strategic Dialogue prepared by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D. Student, Graduate School of Public Policy, Tokyo University.
- May 2018: "Civilian Control "at Crisis"? – Perhaps Not, for the Case of the Field Sit-reps from SDF's South Sudan Mission" reported by Ippeita Nishida, Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2018: "Fukushima, Genki？Project－Young Taiwanese volunteers introduce the facts on Fukushima's revival through documentary films－" reported by OGATA, Makoto, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- December 2017: "Commemorating a Quarter Century of Dispatches of the JSDF's PKO Units: Challenges and Possibilities in the Post South Sudan" written by Takayuki Shoji, Lecturer, Nihon University
- November 2017: "19th CCP National Congress" written by Mr. Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Fondation
- October 2017: "What is Japan's Role in the Indo-China border conflict?" written by Dr. NGAO,Satoru, Research Fellow, Institute for Future Engineering
- July 2017: "Overview of the Current Situation in Taiwan-" the Naturally Independent Generation" will affect the Taiwan"s politics-" written by Makoto Ogata MGE.(Ret.)
- June 2017: "Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue" written by Mr.Takaaki Asano
- March 2017: "The Japan-Philippines Strategic Dialogue" written by Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi
- February, 2017: Current topic "The Importance of Japan's Security Role Under Trump" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao is posted on the SSDP website.
- December, 2016: Current topic "Widening Security Task: Will SDF do the Job?" written by Mr. Ippeita Nishida is posted on the SSDP website.
- September 2023, Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no3" (Hegemonic America: Where It's Headed) in English edition was published.
- June 2023,Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no2" (Nuclear Crisis Scenarios Facing Japan and the Outlook of Nuclear Deterrence and Arms Control and Disarmament) in English edition was published.
- March 2023,Research journal "Security Studies vol5 no1" (What Will Happen to European Security?―Facing the War in Ukraine) in English edition was published.
- January 2023, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 4)" - Defending Our Country – Defense Policy in a "New Cold War Era - was published.
- October 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 3)" - Xi Jinping's China - Politics, Economy, Society and Diplomacy - was published.
- Jun 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 2)" -The Russia-Ukraine War and Its Global Impact- was published.
- March 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 1)"-What is Economic Security?- was published.
- December 2021, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 3 no 4)"-Korean Peninsula Situation- was published.
- September 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no03" -Asia's Security II- (English edition)
- June 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no02" -Asia's Security I- (English edition)
- March 2021: Research journal "Security Studies (vol3 no1) "- US Foreign Policy in the Biden Administration / The 2020 US Presidential Election and American Democracy -(English edition)
- December 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no4) "- Normalize Japan-South Korea Relations trough Dialogues -(English edition)
- September 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no3) "-The Novel Coronavirus and Security-(English edition)
- July 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no2) - Middle East Situation and Japan's Security - " (English edition) was published
- May 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no1) - Cyber, Space, Environment and Security - " March 2020 (English edition)
- February 2020, "A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no4) " (English edition)"
- September 2019: A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no3) " (English edition)
- August 2019: Korea-Japan Joint Seminar: FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE
- April 2019: "Security Studies (vol1 no2) April 2019"
- March 2019: A research journal "Security Studies vol1 no01" just published
- February 2019: The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Takeshima Issue
- December 2018: Former Vice Defense Minister Masahiro Akiyama's Memoirs (An Ad)
- November 2018: Participation in the Future Consensus Forum held in Beijing
- September 2018: "2018 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue" reported by Masahiro Akiyama
- 2017 December: "The Butterfly Project-A possibility of showing a solution to the North Korea problem-"
- October 2017: Campaign on the problems with North Korea
- August 2017: A New Containment Policy Strategy
- June 2017: Korean peninsla
- March 2017: President Duterte
- February, 2017: Kazakhstan
- November, 2016: Participated in Astana Club 2016 held in Kazakhstan on November 14- 16, 2016.