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Virtual Event | Avoiding the Brink: Escalation Management in a War to Defend Taiwan

Apr 20, 2023
10:00am to 11:00am ET

The Center for a New American Security on Thursday, April 20 hosted a virtual conversation about China's nuclear buildup and the risk of nuclear escalation in a war to defend Taiwan which featured guest panelists Dr. Phil Saunders (National Defense University) and John Warden (Institute for Defense Analysis).

This event was hosted by Dr. Stacie Pettyjohn and Hannah Dennis, authors of the recent CNAS report Avoiding the Brink: Escalation Management in a War to Defend Taiwan. The report includes insights from two tabletop exercises that examined notional Taiwan invasion scenarios set in 2027 and 2030.

The panel discussed the potential triggers, thresholds, and targets for Chinese nuclear use, as well as U.S. and U.S. ally and partner options for avoiding and managing escalation, before taking audience questions.


Dr. Phillip C. Saunders
Director, INSS Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs
National Defense University

John Warden
Research Staff Member, Strategy, Forces and Resources Division
Institute for Defense Analysis

Hosted by:

Dr. Stacie Pettyjohn
Senior Fellow and Director
Defense Program

Hannah Dennis
Research Assistant
Defense Program

For media inquiries, contact Cameron Edinburgh at [email protected].