Shane Smith

Senior Fellow


Areas of Expertise:  Countering WMD; Deterrence; Nuclear Policy; Missile Defense; Asia-Pacific (Northeast Asia Security Issues); Asia-Pacific (North Korea)

Dr. Shane Smith, a Senior Policy Fellow at the National Defense University's Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, recently served on temporary assignments as Senior Advisor for East Asia Nuclear Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and as a Senior Advisor at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.  Prior to joining the National Defense University in 2007, Dr. Smith worked for former Secretaries of Defense William Perry and Ashton Carter at the Harvard-Stanford Preventive Defense Project and, before that, he was a Research Associate for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.  He has taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the National Defense University and Johns Hopkins University.  His current research focuses on the role of nuclear weapons in Asia-Pacific affairs, extended deterrence and North Korea's nuclear program. He is the author or co-author of over twenty chapters, articles and government studies. Dr. Smith received his BA from the University of Georgia and his PhD from the University of Colorado.







  • Shane Smith, North Korea's Strategic Culture and Its Evolving Nuclear Strategy, in Crossing Nuclear Thresholds: Leveraging Sociocultural Insights into Nuclear Decisionmaking (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
  • Shane Smith, Alternative North Korean Nuclear Futures, in Alternative East Asian Nuclear Futures, vol 1. Non-Proliferation Education Center, June 2018.
  • Shane Smith, North Korean Nuclear Futures: Implications for U.S. Extended Deterrence and Assurance in East Asia, US-Korea Institute at SAIS, November 2015.
  • Shane Smith, North Korea’s Evolving Nuclear Strategy, US-Korea Institute at SAIS, August 2015.
  • Shane Smith, “Fractured Response: Applying the Lessons of Hurricane Katrina and the 1995 Tokyo Subway Attack to WMD Consequence Management”, in Jeffrey Larsen (ed.), Responding to Catastrophic WMD Events (New York: Palgrave, 2013).
  • David Paalki and Shane Smith, "Contrasting Causal Mechanisms: Iraq and Libya" in Etel Solingen (ed.), Sanctions, Statecraft, and Nuclear Proliferation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • Shane Smith, “Strategic Stability and What it Means for US-China Relations”, Institute for National Strategic Studies Research Note, National Defense University (January 2010), FOUO.
  • Shane Smith, Securing Foreign Borders: A Report to the Office of the Secretary of Defense on the WMD-Proliferation Prevention Initiative (Washington, DC: National Defense University Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, 2009).
  • Ashton B. Carter with Marcel Lettre and Shane Smith, "Keeping the Technological Edge," in Ashton B. Carter and John P. White (eds.), Keeping the Edge: Managing Defense for the Future (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2002).