Curbing North Korea’s nuclear program and the threat of nuclear terrorism is certainly top of today’s list of nuclear proliferation worries. Yet, if states become more willing to use their nuclear arms to achieve military advantage, the problem of nuclear proliferation and use will become far more urgent. U.S. security will be held hostage not just to Russia, North Korea, China, Iran, or terrorists, but to nuclear-armed states in East and Southwest Asia and the Middle East. This is turn, will not only prompt more nuclear proliferation, but diplomatic miscalculations and wars of a sort not yet seen. Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future (2nd Edition), which experts from both the Left and Right have praised, explores what we may be up against, what experts think about these nuclear futures, and what might be done to prevent the worst.
Henry D. Sokolski is the Executive Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, a Washington-based nonprofit organization founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues among policymakers, scholars and the media. He teaches as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and The Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C.
From 1989 to 1993, Sokolski served as the Deputy for Nonproliferation Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, for which he received the Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Prior to this, he worked in the Secretary of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment on strategic weapons proliferation issues.
In addition to his Executive Branch service, Sokolski worked on the Hill from 1984 through 1988 as senior military legislative aide to Senate Armed Services Committee member Dan Quayle, and from 1982 through 1983 as special assistant on nuclear energy matters to TVA Subcommittee chairman Senator Gordon J. Humphrey.
He also worked as a consultant on nuclear weapons proliferation issues to the Intelligence Community’s National Intelligence Council; received a Congressional appointment to the Deutch Proliferation Commission, which completed its report in July 1999; served as a member of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Senior Advisory Panel from 1995 to 1996; and was a member of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, which operated until 2010.
Sokolski has authored and edited a number of books on nuclear proliferation including, Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future, (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, 2016) and Best of Intentions: America’s Campaign Against Strategic Weapons Proliferation (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001).
He has been a resident fellow at the National Institute for Public Policy, the Heritage Foundation, and the Hoover Institution. He also has taught political science courses at the University of Chicago, Rosary College, and Loyola University.
Sokolski is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and IISS and is on the editorial board of The Nonproliferation Review. In 2004, The National Journal recognized Sokolski as one of the ten key individuals whose ideas will help shape the policy debate on the future of nuclear weapons.