Skip to content
Media coverage | 19 April 2021

Andrew Futter: Explaining the nuclear challenges posed by emerging and disruptive technology

YGLN member Andrew Futter has published a paper entitled ‘Explaining the nuclear challenges posed by emerging and disruptive technology: A primer for European policymakers and professionals’, in EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Papers no. 73, March 2021. Full text (pdf) can be found here.

Summary: This paper is a primer for those seeking to engage with current debates on nuclear risk in Europe. It demystifies and contextualizes the challenges posed by emerging and disruptive technologies in the nuclear realm. It looks in detail at five significant and potentially disruptive technological developments— hypersonic weapons, missile defence, artificial intelligence and automation, counterspace capabilities, and computer network operations (cyber) — to highlight often-overlooked nuances and explain how some of the challenges presented by these developments are more marginal, established and manageable than is sometimes portrayed. By emphasizing the primacy of politics over technology when it comes to meeting nuclear challenges, this paper also seeks to provide a basis for targeted risk reduction and arms control, as well as normative recommendations for policymakers and professionals working across Europe.

Picture: Christopher Cook, ‘Cyber’, Flickr Creative Commons