"The Risk of Nuclear War between the United States and China"
Dr. Gregory Kulacki, China Project Manager
Union of Concerned Scientists
Flyer: Gregory Kulacki Flyer.pdf
Abstract: Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the governments of the United States and the People’s Republic of China are a few poor decisions away from starting a war that could escalate rapidly and end in a nuclear exchange. Mismatched perceptions increase both the possibility of war and the likelihood it will result in the use of nuclear weapons. Miscommunication or misunderstanding could spark a conflict that both governments may find difficult to stop.
U.S. and PRC leaders try to avoid conflict, but their discussions of contentious issues are inadequate. Mutual mistrust sustains an entrenched and deepening antagonism despite sincere and occasionally successful efforts to cooperate on shared concerns such as climate change and nuclear terrorism. Diplomacy has not slowed steadily accelerating preparations for war, nor has it resolved U.S.-PRC disputes over the status of Taiwan, North Korean threats, or the freedom of military navigation in East Asian waters.
War between the United States and the People’s Republic of China is not inevitable, but failing to acknowledge the risks is certain to make it more likely.
Bio: Gregory Kulacki is an expert on cross-cultural communication between the United States and China. Since joining UCS in 2002, he has promoted dialogue between experts from both countries on nuclear arms control and space security and has consulted with Chinese and U.S. governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the U.S. House China Working Group, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the U.S. National Academies, NASA, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Dr. Kulacki, who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, has lived and worked in China for more than 25 years. Prior to joining UCS, he served as an associate professor of government at Green Mountain College, director of external studies at Pitzer College, and director of academic programs in China for the Council on International Educational Exchange.
Gregory earned a doctorate degree in political theory and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Maryland in College Park. He also completed graduate certificates in Chinese economic history and international politics at Fudan University in Shanghai.