“On The Brink”—Really? Revisiting Nuclear Close Calls Since 1945

June 15, 2017

by Bruno Tertrais

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Why have nuclear weapons not been used since 1945? Have we just been “lucky”? Analyzing 37 known episodes, including 25 alleged nuclear crises and 12 technical incidents, reveals that the explanation is actually that the system—human prudence and the efficiency of mechanisms devoted to the guardianship of nuclear weapons—has worked.