NATO, Alliances, Deterrence, Europe and Eurasia, Nuclear weapons

Past Virtual Event: New York for Paris? NATO and extended deterrence in a new nuclear age

During the Cold War, it was once said that the United States would not “risk New York to save Paris.” This underscored a fundamental credibility problem in a circumstance of mutually assured destruction: How do you threaten suicide on behalf of others?  As the NATO military alliance turns 75, and has expanded to more than 30 members, the problem has only grown more profound. One must now ask that question about Vilnius, Budapest, Podgorica, and a host of other capitals where U.S. interests are uncertain. Yet even as profound questions of credibility assail NATO, policymakers and analysts seem increasingly disinclined to ask, let alone answer, them. They tend to ignore the nuclear foundations of the alliance and blithely assume the extension of security guarantees to places like Ukraine would be inherently credible to Russia.

This event will evaluate the nuclear threats core to NATO. As the alliance expands east, are its threats increasingly empty? Do unbelievable threats on the edge of the alliance corrode its historical core? Can nuclear doctrine or conventional deployments bridge credibility gaps? What should the U.S. do about the risk of reckless behavior on the part of its allies?

Event Speakers


Non-Resident Fellow

Defense Priorities


Assistant Research Scholar

University of Maryland School of Public Policy


Policy Director

Defense Priorities