### Abstract

A theoretical analysis of the probability of nuclear war is developed that assumes a starting probability and an annual reduction factor. Whatever the starting probability is, a constant reduction factor leads to an eventual probability that is less than 1, whereas the eventual probability goes to 1 if there is no reduction or if the reduction proportion decreases at a constant rate. Numerical calculations and graphical results illustrate trade-offs between the starting probabilities and the reduction factors, demonstrating especially the significance of the latter. In addition, upper and lower limits for, and approximations of, the eventual probabilities - along with measures of the rate of convergence - are derived. The applicability of the analysis to lowering the probability of nuclear war is discussed, with particular attention paid to real-life factors that seem to affect this probability.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 91-99 |

Number of pages | 9 |

Journal | Journal of Peace Research |

Volume | 26 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Feb 1989 |

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### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Sociology and Political Science
- Safety Research
- Political Science and International Relations

### Cite this

*Journal of Peace Research*,

*26*(1), 91-99. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343389026001009