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Ensuring Strategic Stability In The Second Nuclear Age

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Technical Report

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Air War College Maxwell AFB United States

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This research paper argues the United States must seek a balanced systems approach to ensure strategic stability in a nuclear multiplicity environment among its nuclear-armed peers, near peers and nonpeers. The paper first analyzes what strategic stability meant during the Cold War and identifies common elements of strategic stability strategies. In the second part, the paper recalculates strategic stability for the 21st century. The second part begins with asserting strategic stability remains a relevant strategy for the United States in the contemporary nuclear-armed world. Then, the concept of stability is redefined among the three categories of nuclear actors the United States must balance in the second nuclear age nuclear-armed peers, near peers and nonpeers. Finally, using the common strategic stability elements identified in the first part of the paper and applying them systematically to the new stability framework, the paper presents a balanced posture to ensure strategic stability during the second nuclear age.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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