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Time Critical Conventional Strike from Strategic Standoff

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This Executive Summary and the attached appendices provide an unclassified overview of the Task Force analysis, findings and recommendations. For a more detailed understanding of this material, we refer the reader to the classified version of the full report. The U.S. strategic deterrence and strike environment has changed as our adversaries and their tactics have changed. Terrorists and rogue nations as well as future potential peers are well aware that asymmetric tactics are proving very effective against our forces. In the past, a weapon of mass destruction WMD was a weapon of last resort for virtually all of the Nations primary adversaries it now may be moving closer to the weapon of choice, at least for some. Terrorist leaders are more willing to take risks, tend to place much less value on the life of individuals, have much less to lose, and are somewhat protected by statelessness. Avowed tactics included massive targeting of innocents, martyrdom of soldiers, and operating within a civilian environment. Operational fuzziness makes Indications and Warnings IW much more difficult andor fleeting. WMD technology is broadly available, and the cost of entry is much lower than for traditional, indigenously developed, nuclear weapons. At the same time rogue nations are aggressively pursuing nuclear weapon capability. Deterrence has become more elusive in terms of identifying and locating adversaries, understanding adversary values, and understanding what of the adversaries the United States U.S. can hold at risk. Our future global strategic strike capability must recognize todays realities, be highly effective, quickly and easily usable, yet in many situations inflict minimal collateral damage while maintaining the threshold for nuclear weapons use at the high level we observe today. This all gives rise to the need for a prompt, conventional strike capability, deliverable to almost anyplace on the globe.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Nuclear Warfare
  • Unconventional Warfare

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