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the nuclear peace and competing explanations share the same status: all¶are hypotheses, requiring a rerun of the history of the last seventy years¶without nuclear weapons to see whether war would have broken out. The¶nuclear peace hypothesis is no less a counterfactual than its rivals.19 It¶faces the challenge of proving a negative. In these circumstances, faith in¶the nuclear peace becomes a betor a matter of trust.20¶Moreover, we know that complex and tightly coupled systems like¶nuclear weapons are doomed to fail eventually, even if the frequency of¶failure is very low. This is because their complexityand tight coupling¶don’t allow for anticipating and testing of every possible failure.21 Given¶this epistemological challenge, which relies ultimately onthe trustone¶puts in one potential cause of peace at the expense of the others and on¶the expected timing of nuclear versus non-nuclear disasters, at least one¶question arises: is seventy years a high enough standard of evidencefor¶us to surrender our fate to nuclear weaponsforever?22Multiple factors complicate nuclear deterrenceLyon 15 (Dr Rod Lyon is a Fellow - International Strategy. Rod was most recently a Senior Analyst with ASPI. He has previously lectured in International Relations at the University of Queensland where he taught courses on conflict, international security, and civil-military relations. His research interests focus on a range of problems associated with global security, nuclear strategy and Australian security. He previously worked in the Strategic Analysis Branch of the Office of National Assessments between 1985 and 1996. As a Fulbright scholar in 2004, he was a visiting research fellow at Georgetown University in Washington DC, researching a project on the future of security partnerships in the post-September 11 environment. He was appointed to the National Consultative Committee on International Security Issues in April 2005. “The NewDilemmas of Nuclear Deterrence” 7/3/15 )///CWWith nuclear modernisation programs under way across a range of countries, Russia asserting its right to deploy nuclear weapons in the Crimea, NATO reviewing the role of nuclear weapons in the alliance, and a recent report in the US arguing for a more versatile arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons, it’s clear the world’s revisiting an old problem: how to build effective nuclear deterrence arrangements.¶Since the end of the Cold War, thinking about deterrence issues has been mainly confined to the academic and think-tank world. But policymakers are now having to re-engage with those issues. And the problem has a new twist: we no longer enjoy the luxury of a bipolar world. Indeed, as Therese Delpech observed in her RAND monograph Nuclear deterrence in the 21st century, nowadays ‘the actors are more diverse, more opaque, and sometimes more reckless’.