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Nuclear Deterrence, Then and Now

Sunday, December 1, 2002

The cold war consensus on the role of nuclear arms in American national security has dissolved, a casualty of the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet empire itself. In place of a threat posed by an adversary commanding superior conventional forces, the United States now faces the prospect of multiple potential opponents with variable motives, shifting sources of conflict, and evolving alliance relationships.

In this environment, even assuming sharply lower levels of nuclear warheads, the U.S. needs a more flexible nuclear doctrine, based on approaches that simultaneously assure friends of a steadfast U.S security commitment, prevent prospective enemies from pursuing weapons of mass destruction, deter direct threats against America’s interests and allies, and promise the defeat of any attack. These new realities dictate a more nuanced role for nuclear weapons, both in terms of the capabilities we pursue and the scenarios governing their use, even as we retain an unmistakably robust, diversified, balanced, and flexible nuclear force structure.

The end of Cold War deterrence

For more than 40 years, the U.S. defense community held a shared view regarding the purposes for which this country maintained strategic nuclear forces. The overriding purpose of the forces was to deter war between the United States and the Soviet Union. This had to be accomplished in the face of an overwhelming Soviet conventional capability and under conditions dictated by the presence of vulnerable allies close to Soviet territory. As a result, U.S. forces had to be positioned forward to defend those allies, a situation that made them vulnerable to a Soviet offensive. Because it was difficult to have confidence in Western conventional defenses, it was necessary to threaten the Soviet Union with the possible use by the United States (and later by Great Britain and France) of nuclear weapons, including escalation up to a massive strike on the Soviet homeland.

American nuclear forces needed to be of sufficient size and robust character such as to impose on the Soviet leadership the unassailable fact that no conflict with the United States could end with anything less than unacceptable damage to the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union acquired nuclear weapons, it was also necessary to convince Moscow that it could not hope to gain an advantage by their use. American retaliation had to be assured, even in the face of a “bolt-out-of-the blue” attack by the Soviet Union. For this reason the United States invested in the now familiar triad of strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, along with the early warning and command, control, and communications (c3) that guarded against surprise attack. In addition, the United States developed and deployed an array of tactical and theater nuclear weapons. The purpose of these was to ensure that at any point in the conflict, the United States had a credible escalatory option.

Over the past decade, the strategic rationale that guided the development of U.S. nuclear forces throughout the Cold War has been slowly eroding. The collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the demise of the Soviet Union ended the conventional threat to America’s European and Asian allies. No longer did the United States need a stout ladder of escalation based on directly linking conventional defenses to the massive U.S. strategic nuclear capability. Without the threat of conventional conflict and first-use of nuclear weapons by the United States to avoid a conventional defeat, there was also a reduced concern regarding the possibility of a Soviet preemptive strike against the U.S. homeland.

As a result, it was possible for the United States to consider altering the size and posture of American nuclear forces. The first Bush administration began the process — in cooperation with President Boris Yeltsin’s regime in Russia — by detargeting U.S. ballistic missiles, removing nuclear weapons from strategic bombers, withdrawing almost all tactical nuclear weapons from forward positions, and agreeing to the start ii treaty that promised to reduce the number of available nuclear weapons in the force to 3,500. The Clinton administration pursued implementation of these decisions as well as a variety of so-called threat reduction measures designed primarily to reduce risks associated with the arsenal of the former Soviet Union.

Yet the Bush and Clinton administrations were reluctant to seriously challenge the nuclear doctrines of the Cold War. Both were concerned that Russia’s political transformation might not succeed, resulting in the emergence of a hostile and revanchist power. In its 1994 Nuclear Posture Review and a 1997 Presidential Decision Directive, the Clinton administration maintained a classic view of the role of nuclear weapons as a means of deterring war. To that end, the United States still was required to maintain a relatively large strategic nuclear force capable of holding at risk a wide range of strategic targets and ultimately of inflicting unacceptable damage on an opponent.1 It was this view of the nature of nuclear deterrence that also led the Clinton administration repeatedly to defend the Anti-Ballistic Missile (abm) Treaty as the “cornerstone of stability.”

George W. Bush came to office determined to recast U.S. defense policy in light of the realities of a new international security environment. In particular, the Bush administration argued that the threats of the twenty-first century were fundamentally different from those the United States had confronted in the past. The 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review contained a stark warning about the threats of the future:

Although U.S. military forces enjoy superiority in many dimensions of armed conflict, the United States is likely to be challenged by adversaries who possess a wide range of capabilities, including asymmetric approaches to warfare, particularly weapons of mass destruction. The United States cannot predict with a high degree of confidence the identity of the countries or actors that may threaten its interests and security.

The Bush administration’s response to this threat assessment was to propose the transformation of the U.S. military. Although the principal focus of transformation efforts was on conventional forces, the administration was also intent on altering the doctrine and character for strategic forces.

Two events, occurring nearly simultaneously, signaled a doctrinal revolution with respect to American strategic nuclear forces. The first was the decision by the Bush administration on December 14, 2001 to withdraw from the abm Treaty. By so doing, the administration rejected perhaps the most central premise of Cold War nuclear doctrine: that deterrence is best achieved by the ability of U.S. forces to threaten unacceptable damage. In making his announcement, President Bush declared:

The 1972 abm Treaty was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in a much different time, in a vastly different world. One of the signatories, the Soviet Union, no longer exists and neither does the hostility that once led both our countries to keep thousands of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, pointed at each other. Today, as the events of September 11 made all too clear, the greatest threats to both our countries come not from each other, or from other big powers in the world, but from terrorists who strike without warning or rogue states who seek weapons of mass destruction.

The second event was the publication of the Bush administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (npr) on January 9, 2002. The npr began by acknowledging that the central strategic reality of the Cold War, the East-West conflict, had been replaced by uncertainty. The United States faced the prospect of multiple potential opponents with differing or uncertain motives, new sources and loci of conflict, and shifting alliance relationships. As a result, the ability of existing U.S. strategic forces to deter potential aggressors — deterrence defined as the ability to inflict damage on an opponent in a retaliatory strike — could not be assured. A more flexible doctrine was needed, one based on capabilities and approaches that simultaneously assured friends and allies of the U.S commitment to their security, dissuaded prospective proliferators from pursuing weapons of mass destruction (wmd), deterred direct threats against the U.S., its interests, and its allies, and promised the defeat of any attack.

The desired force structure to meet these new requirements would be based on a spectrum of capabilities rather than focusing on a single threat and able to respond to a wide range of contingencies. As Denis Bovin, vice chairman of Bear Stearns and a well-known Wall Street defense sector expert, observed, “What was striking about the npr was its call for a new strategic triad based on non-nuclear strike forces, strategic defenses, and strategic nuclear forces.” This new triad presented the potential of meeting doctrinal requirements in fundamentally new ways. Defenses were one way to address emerging threats and deterrence uncertainties. Another way was to exploit advances in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (isr) and precision targeting to employ conventional weapons in lieu of nuclear weapons. According to Assistant Secretary of Defense J.D. Crouch:

The non-nuclear strike forces, we believe, have the potential, if fully exploited, fully developed, to reduce our dependence on nuclear forces for the offensive strike leg of the force. And even defenses give us some options that allow us to do the same.

Nevertheless, the npr confirms that strategic nuclear forces will remain a central element of the new strategic doctrine. Indeed, the npr made it clear that the role of strategic nuclear forces in the new doctrine would be more nuanced than had been the case over the past decade. The new, smaller strategic nuclear force posture would be structured to address a wide range of immediate and potential contingencies. Adaptive planning would supplement or even replace the traditional Single Integrated Operational Plan (siop) with its emphasis on pre-planned, relatively inflexible, and often massive strike packages. In addition, the npr spoke of exploiting synergy between the elements of the new triad.

The npr’s findings and recommendations were generally accepted without much criticism. The only seemingly controversial aspects of the npr were the set of contingencies for nuclear planning and the recommendation that the United States begin development of new types of nuclear weapons. As reported by the Los Angeles Times (March 9, 2002), the classified version of the npr identified a set of possible contingencies, including an Arab-Israeli conflict or a threat from seven so-called rogue states. Even here, knowledgeable observers were quick to point out that the npr’s recommendations were a logical extension of the post-September npr security environment and made sense in terms of the new threats confronting the United States.2

The npr’s strong commitment to a large and flexible strategic nuclear capability must be welcomed by all those concerned about the broad range of potential threats that face the United States in the new century. Nevertheless, the npr failed to explicitly define the purposes of those strategic nuclear forces. It speaks only of immediate, unexpected, and potential contingencies. Such contingencies could include “surprise military developments.” These formulations are insufficient as the basis for sustained support of nuclear forces and their supporting infrastructure. There is no context on which to draw in order to understand reports that the military has been ordered to develop contingency plans to strike rogue states or to employ small nuclear weapons in limited numbers as so-called “bunker busters.”

The traditional political consensus on the role of strategic nuclear weapons in U.S. defense policy is gone. During the Cold War it was generally agreed that for deterrence to be effective the threat to use nuclear weapons had to be credible — in other words, it had to make sense militarily. There are many who now argue that nuclear weapons have no military purpose. There also is a strong abolitionist streak in the current debate on American defense policy. Denuclearization would undoubtedly prove much more difficult to achieve than its advocates suggest. It would certainly be very unwise. However, those who continue to see a need for strategic nuclear weapons in a twenty-first century U.S. defense policy have yet to make a convincing case. They have yet to argue a theory of deterrence for the new century.

A new rationale

The new strategic circumstances confronting the United States today are markedly different from those that obtained during the Cold War. At that time, the United States was the status quo power, defending a global alliance against the threat of all-out war. Western conventional inferiority demanded reliance on nuclear weapons. The stakes were absolute and reliance on the threat of massive nuclear retaliation to deter Soviet aggression was a necessary and appropriate defense strategy. Now, albeit reluctantly, the United States finds itself in the role of sole superpower, engaged throughout the world. It has repeatedly intervened in local and regional conflicts in which it has only limited stakes. In so doing, moreover, the United States has been able to exploit its significant and growing conventional superiority over potential adversaries. The lesson for potential adversaries of the Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, and, most recently, Afghanistan is that they cannot hope to stand against the United States on a modern conventional battlefield.

It is the impossibility of countering U.S. conventional power that has sent potential adversaries scurrying in search of so-called asymmetric means of warfare. Chief among these are wmd, possibly combined with a method of long-range delivery. Such weapons could be quite primitive, for their primary purpose is not to achieve results on the battlefield but to deter or complicate any potential U.S. military action against the state deploying such means. The potential adversary need only threaten to raise the stakes for the United States in circumstances where vital interests may not be involved. As Robert Walpole, national intelligence officer for strategic and nuclear programs, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (September 16, 1999):

Acquiring long-range ballistic missiles armed with a weapon of mass destruction will enable weaker countries to do three things that they might otherwise not be able to do: deter, constrain, and harm the United States. To achieve these objectives, the missiles need not be deployed in large numbers; with even a few weapons, these countries would judge that they had the capability to threaten at least politically significant damage to the United States or its allies. They need not be highly accurate; the ability to target a large urban area is sufficient. They need not be highly reliable, because their strategic value is derived primarily from the implicit or explicit threat of their use, not the near certain outcome of such use.

Although the United States currently enjoys unquestioned conventional superiority over any potential adversary, it cannot count on that superiority alone to deter possible aggressors. Moreover, it must reckon with the efforts of a number of so-called rogue states and even terrorist groups who intend to acquire wmd precisely to counter U.S. conventional superiority. Such weapons could be delivered against U.S. forces or even the homeland by a variety of means, including covert. The ability to deter covert or terrorist employment of wmd will clearly depend on the ability both to identify the source of the attack and to respond appropriately. In some instances this could mean a nuclear response, in others the use of defenses, conventional strike systems, Special Forces, or even the cia. At all costs, the United States must avoid being self-deterred — that is, unwilling to project military power as necessary in pursuit of its national interests — by the asymmetric threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a lesser power.3

In addition to the threat from so-called rogue states, the United States must also guard against the possibility, however slight, that it might find itself in a military confrontation with either Russia or China. Russia has sought to offset its conventional military weakness by relying more heavily on nuclear weapons. Moscow has renounced the no-first-use pledge made by the Soviet leadership and has focused in its new military doctrine on the use of limited nuclear options as a means of controlling or deescalating a regional conventional conflict.4 Chinese military writings suggest similar scenarios in which nuclear weapons are employed in local conflicts by the weaker side to counter the opponent’s conventional superiority. The threat of direct attacks on the opponent’s homeland is meant to “cap” the conflict.5

Although it did not — indeed, could not — say so, the npr lays out the framework for a defense policy and nuclear strategy designed both to shape the future strategic environment in ways congenial to the preferred U.S. strategic approach to employing military power, and to ensure U.S. strategic advantage in the event of war. Its unparalleled conventional capability allows the United States to prosecute a strategic campaign without resort to nuclear weapons. Nonnuclear strike forces are capable not only of dominating the conventional battlefield but of holding at risk a broad range of strategic targets. This alone may be sufficient to deter the use of wmd. But if not, the combination of strategic defenses and nonnuclear strike capabilities can deny an adversary any credible escalatory options. Even limited defenses, both missile and air defenses, can defeat an aggressor’s “cheap shot.” If strategic or theater defenses are successful at defeating an adversary’s use of wmd, the United States could potentially rely solely on conventional forces to achieve its war aims.

What then are the roles of strategic nuclear forces in supporting a defense strategy intended to solidify nascent U.S. strategic advantage? The first role is to maximize the strategic space available to the United States in exploiting its conventional military advantage for the purposes of dissuasion, deterrence, or the defeat of aggression. Simply put, this means maintaining a strategic nuclear force of sufficient size, flexibility, and responsiveness so that any opponent, regardless of the size or character of his wmd arsenal, will be deterred from attempting to use such weapons to counter the U.S. conventional advantages. This includes having credible limited nuclear strike options that can reasonably be expected to deter the use of wmd by an opponent facing conventional defeat.6 It also means developing the intelligence capabilities to support retaliation in the event of the covert use of wmd by such a state. It is noteworthy in this context that the United States recently announced that it was dropping its 1978 pledge not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.

American strategic nuclear forces serve in a number of other roles. A second role is to hold at risk those targets that are most highly prized by a potential adversary but that are not accessible by conventional means. A third role is to neutralize a proliferator’s wmd. A final role, in combination with strategic defenses and nonnuclear strike capabilities, is to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing wmd options or, in the cases of Russia and China, from using their strategic forces as a means of escalation control. So long as Russia’s conventional defense capability remains weak, and the country maintains a large strategic nuclear arsenal, the United States will be required to maintain a strategic nuclear posture sufficient to deter any resort to nuclear weapons by Russia.

U.S. strategic nuclear forces also provide reassurance to America’s friends and allies. Extended deterrence may be even more important today, in an era marked by the proliferation of wmd and long-range strike systems, than it was during the Cold War. Unless the United States maintains its extended deterrence for our allies, they could be tempted to pursue their own wmd capabilities as a means of deterring regional threats. In addition, the United States is increasingly dependent on foreign bases to support its strategy of conventional power projection. Such bases may become targets for an adversary’s wmd attacks. High-confidence assurance to allies and coalition partners confronted by wmd threats will almost assuredly require the extension to them of nuclear guarantees.

The principal strategic problem likely to confront the United States for the next several decades is deterring or defeating local aggression, including the possible limited use of wmd. This requires retaliatory threats appropriate to these reduced circumstances. The traditional threat of massive retaliation is increasingly implausible as a response to even limited use of wmd against the U.S. homeland. Yet, it is not clear that the threat of a proportional response would be sufficient to deter some adversaries. A recent study of the rationale and requirements for U.S. nuclear forces noted that the dynamic international environment makes it difficult to arrive at a force-sizing criterion adequate for the broad range of potential situations in which nuclear weapons might be relevant:

[T]he types of U.S. threats and underlying capabilities that may be necessary over the next twenty-five years will be as varied as the challenges and contexts likely to confront Washington. Some foes in the future may be deterred by threats to their counter-value targets, requiring few if any U.S. nuclear weapons. Other foes, highly motivated and notably cost and risk tolerant, may be deterred only by severe threats to many types of targets, requiring significant U.S. nuclear capabilities.7

Regardless of where on the threat spectrum future foes may lie, it is almost inconceivable that the United States will be required to execute the kind of assured destruction strike that was the basis of the Cold War deterrent. Indeed, such a threat appears less and less credible as the Cold War recedes into memory. Instead, deterrence of regional adversaries and nuclear powers alike is likely to be sustainable to the extent the promised response to aggression is both proportionate and tailored. Should deterrence fail, in most instances the United States will have an interest in containing the conflict. This means the selective rather than massive use of nuclear weapons. As one longtime nuclear strategist observed, “Nuclear doctrine cannot lock a president into any unalterable course or give him only unacceptable options.”8

Finally, strategic nuclear forces can serve as a powerful hedge against surprise. Conventional deterrence has a history of failing, particularly in circumstances in which the aggressor doubts the resolve of his adversaries. A robust and flexible U.S. strategic nuclear posture can dramatically alter a potential aggressor’s cost-benefit calculus. This is particularly true insofar as U.S. strategic nuclear forces have the kinds of characteristics that make the threat of use credible, even in limited conflicts.

A force posture for the future

The United States has reduced its nuclear arsenal by more than half — from some 27,000 weapons in the stockpile at the height of the Cold War. The number of weapons actually deployed on launchers has declined even more and will be further reduced to between 1,700 and 2,200 by 2012. To a large degree these changes reflect the reality of the post-Cold War era. The number of strategic targets that needed to be held at risk has fallen sharply as, first, the Warsaw Pact and, second, the Soviet Union collapsed. The subsequent decline of the Russian military further shrank the prospective strategic target list, as did the abandonment by the Russian military of the Soviet-era doctrine of seeking to fight and win a major nuclear war.

At the same time, the range of contingencies that U.S. strategic nuclear forces may have to address has, if anything, expanded. As a result, it has become more difficult to define an appropriate force structure and associated force posture for the remaining strategic nuclear forces.

The basic design characteristics central to the development of Cold War strategic nuclear forces appear germane today. First, the forces must be safe and secure. Second, they must be responsive to political control. This feature takes on even greater importance in light of the uncertainties regarding when and how the United States might become involved in a nuclear crisis. Third, the forces must be effective against any and all potential targets, allowing the United States to strike when, where, and how it sees fit to defend vital interests. Finally, as the Center for Counterproliferation Research study notes, both the forces themselves and their associated command and control must be survivable, denying the potential attacker any hope of limiting damage to himself by means of a preemptive attack.

Even at the reduced numbers proposed by President Bush, the United States would be well advised to maintain the existing triad of strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (icbms), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (slbms). As the National Institute for Public Policy study notes, a force structure based on a variety of platforms insures against sudden changes in the threat that might make one leg of the triad vulnerable. It also provides for flexibility and responsiveness, critical characteristics in a force that must deal with uncertainty and even surprise.

Each leg of the triad continues to provide important contributions to the overall ability of U.S. strategic nuclear forces to dissuade, deter, and, if necessary, defeat any potential adversary. slbms remain the most survivable part of the triad. They pose the ultimate deterrent in the event that an adversary with a large nuclear arsenal would attempt to destroy the United States. Their deployment on a relatively small number of ballistic missile submarines makes them less responsive and flexible than are the other legs of the triad.

Strategic bombers, although no longer maintained as an active element of the triad, should be retained primarily as a hedge both against the failure of one of the other two legs and in the event that potential adversaries are able to deploy highly effective missile defenses. The Bush administration has announced its decision to make the b-1 a conventional-only bomber. This would leave fewer than 100 b-2 and b-52 bombers that could be pressed into service as nuclear delivery systems should the need arise.

At the proposed lower numbers, icbms may come to play an even more crucial role in the future than they did during the Cold War. They possess features that make them particularly well suited to the challenges posed by an uncertain future. They are the leg of the triad that can most readily respond to the new demands for adaptive nuclear targeting. Admiral Richard Mies, commander-in-chief of Strategic Command (stratcom), described the reasons why icbms remain so important in U.S. strategic nuclear plans thus:

Intercontinental ballistic missiles continue to provide a reliable, low cost, prompt response capability with a high readiness rate. They also promote stability by ensuring that a potential adversary takes their geographically dispersed capabilities into account if contemplating a disarming first strike. Without a capable icbm force, the prospect of destroying a significant percentage of America’s strategic infrastructure with a handful of weapons might be tempting to a potential aggressor in a crisis.9

A robust and capable icbm force can also contribute in new ways to stability. Large, mirved icbms were once considered to be destabilizing because they held out the possibility that an attacker could destroy a large number of opposing strategic nuclear forces, including icbms, with the expenditure of only a small fraction of his own force. In a world in which mirved icbms are banned, an attacker will need to expend more of his weapons than he can hope to destroy on the defending side. Moreover, the sheer magnitude of such an attack would make a major retaliatory strike all but inevitable. For these reasons, as the Center for Counterproliferation Research study argues, it makes sense to preserve most, if not all, the present force of some 500 icbms.

The icbm force is also the leg of the triad best suited to respond to any potential contingencies, the term used by the npr to signify a renewed nuclear arms race. Should the need arise, the icbms could be uploaded with two additional warheads apiece. This would allow the U.S. strategic nuclear force to expand by up to 1,000 warheads, assuming the current complement of 500 Minuteman iiis is maintained. Also, the icbm would be the delivery system of choice for new types of warheads such as an earth-penetrator with which to hold at risk deeply buried or hardened structures.10

In light of the range of strategic contingencies that could confront the United States, it seems only prudent to maintain a strategic nuclear force posture that is highly ready, flexible, and large. The size of the American strategic arsenal may be an important contributing factor to both dissuasion and deterrence. A large force structure could dissuade any would-be competitor, most particularly China, from attempting to achieve strategic parity with the United States. Such a force structure, particularly deployed in multiple basing modes, will serve to complicate any would-be attackers’ strike planning. In the event of a nuclear conflict, a large arsenal can ensure that no potential adversary would see any advantage from attacking the United States in the aftermath of a U.S. nuclear strike.

Still a heavily armed world

As the events of September 11 clearly demonstrate, despite the end of the Cold War the world remains a dangerous place. While the threat of a massive nuclear attack on the United States has receded into the dim recesses of probability, this does not mean that the homeland is safe. The end of the Cold War brought with it a new set of threats, not well defined or understood. While U.S. military power is unequalled in the world, new threats are arising that may not be deterrable by traditional measures.

In some ways, the threat of aggression has increased over the past decade. As Robert Walpole noted, “the probability that a missile with a weapon of mass destruction will be used against U.S. forces or interests is higher today than during most of the Cold War.” A recent intelligence community assessment of future ballistic missile threats warned that in the next 15 years “the United States will most likely face icbm threats from North Korea and Iran, and possibly Iraq.”11

In preparing to confront these and other twenty-first century threats, the United States will need a full range of military capabilities, including strategic nuclear forces. Although the size of the nuclear arsenal continues to decline, nuclear weapons may actually become more important to American security. Some potential adversaries are unlikely to be deterred by the threat of conventional retaliation alone. They and others may seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction in order to counter U.S. conventional superiority. While strategic defenses and nonnuclear strike capabilities can contribute to deterrence and broaden the range of options available to U.S. leaders in defeating wmd-armed adversaries, these capabilities cannot fully substitute for credible strategic nuclear forces.

The United States must have a strategic nuclear force posture that is large (relative to the size of the anticipated arsenals of other states), responsive, flexible, and credible. To that end, the United States needs to maintain the existing triad of strategic bombers, icbms, and slbms. Each leg of the triad provides unique attributes that support overall force utility. stratcom must have the intelligence and adaptive planning capabilities to permit the development of a wide range of employment options, including for the highly selective use of new types of nuclear weapons. Finally, the nuclear infrastructure must be sufficient to ensure not only the safety and surety of remaining nuclear weapons but to assure the long-term viability of U.S. strategic nuclear forces.

1 On the views of the Clinton administration, see Keith Payne, “Post-Cold War Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Deterrence Policy,” Comparative Strategy (1998), 250–254.

2 Loren Thompson, “How to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," Wall Street Journal (March 17, 2002).

3 On this problem, see the Center for Counterproliferation Research’s U.S. Nuclear Policy in the Twenty-First Century: A Fresh Look at National Strategy and Requirements (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, July 1998), 14–15.

4 Stephen A. Blank, “Undeterred: The Return of Nuclear War,” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (Summer/Fall 2000).

5 Major-General Wu Jianguo, “Nuclear Shadow on High-Tech Warfare,” in Michael Pillsbury, ed., Chinese Views of Future Warfare (Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, 1999).

6 It should be remembered that Iraq used chemical weapons extensively during its war with Iran to defeat that country’s conventional forces.

7 National Institute for Public Policy, Rationale and Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Forces and Arms Control, Volume I: Executive Report (January 2001), 12.

8 Frank Miller, “Future Nuclear Doctrine,” in Hans Binnendijk and James Goodby, eds. Transforming Nuclear Deterrence (National Defense University Press, 1997), 43.

9 “The Changing World of Nuclear Deterrence,” Air Force Magazine (September 2001).

10 Walter Pincus, “Nuclear Plans Go Beyond Cuts,” Washington Post (February 19, 2002), a26.

11 National Intelligence Council, Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat Through 2015 (Central Intelligence Agency, December 2001), 5.