Brendan Thomas-Noone is an intern in the Lowy Institute's International Security Program.

Optimists discounted domestic political and institutional drivers pushing for more bombs and better ways to deliver them. The abstract notion of minimum, credible deterrence couldn't compete with these drivers and with growing threat perceptions.

 The Lowy Institute International Security Program's work on Indo-Pacific security is supported by two grants from the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation.