NPWG & ANS Host Dr. Matthew Kroenig
Join us for this special event co-hosted by the UC Berkeley chapter of the American Nuclear Society, welcoming Dr. Matthew Kroenig, who will be presenting on his book, The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy!
For decades, the reigning scholarly wisdom about nuclear weapons policy has been that the United States only needs the ability to absorb an enemy nuclear attack and still be able to respond with a devastating counterattack. This argument is reasonable, but, empirically, we see that the US has always maintained a nuclear posture that is much more robust than a mere second-strike capability. In The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy, Matthew Kroenig challenges the conventional wisdom and explains why a robust nuclear posture, above and beyond a mere second-strike capability, contributes to a state's national security goals. In fact, when a state has a robust nuclear weapons force, such a capability reduces its expected costs in a war, provides it with bargaining leverage, and ultimately enhances nuclear deterrence. Buoyed by an innovative thesis and a vast array of historical and quantitative evidence, this book provides the first coherent theoretical explanation for why military nuclear advantages translate into geopolitical advantages. In so doing, it resolves one of the most-intractable puzzles in international security studies.
Matthew Kroenig is a Professor in the Department of Government and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. A 2019 study in Perspectives on Politics ranked him as one of the top 25 most-cited political scientists of his generation.
Dr. Kroenig has served in several positions in the U.S. Department of Defense and the intelligence community in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, including in the Strategy, Middle East, and Nuclear and Missile Defense offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the CIA's Strategic Assessments Group. From 2017-2021, he was a part-time consultant in the Nuclear and Missile Defense Office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he was a major contributor to the formulation of tailored deterrence strategies for China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran for the 2018 US Nuclear Posture Review. In 2011, he developed strategic options for addressing Iran’s nuclear program. In 2005, he was the principal author of the first-ever, US-government-wide strategy for deterring terrorist networks. For this work, he received the Office of the Secretary of Defense's Award for Outstanding Achievement. He is a featured character in The New York Times bestselling book, Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign against Al Qaeda, by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker. He was as a national security adviser on the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney (2012) and Marco Rubio (2016). He has testified before Congress and regularly consults with the White House, State Department, Pentagon, Congress, the intelligence community, and allied governments.
Dr. Kroenig is also the Director of the Global Strategy Initiative and Deputy Director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He has previously worked as the Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and as a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Security at Harvard University, and the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.
He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and holds an MA and PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. He lives with his wife and children in Georgetown.