In January 2020, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight. Closer than ever before. The two existential threats - nuclear war and climate change - are intensified by humanity's lack of response.
While the number of deployed nuclear weapons has declined since the height of the Cold War, the risk of use is increasing. Tensions are rising and the nuclear armed states are investing in the modernization of their nuclear arsenals. After 1991 both Russia and the US reduced the number of "tactical" nuclear weapons in their arsenals. Still, "tactical" nuclear weapons constitute a large percentage of the nuclear arsenals in the world.
What are “tactical,” “nonstrategic,” or “theater” nuclear weapons? What are the strategic consequences of these weapons? Do the recent developments in the doctrine around the use of tactical weapons increase the risk of nuclear war?