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To What Extent Do U.S. Nuclear Forces Provide Useful Options against Rogue States With Weapons of Mass Destruction
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI
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With the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction WND in Third World countries, the likelihood that the United States may get involved in regional wars against rogue states brandishing WMD increases as each year passes. This threat is apparent when considering examples of rogue states with WMD capabilities, such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and Libya. The role of nuclear forces in the U.S. WMD policy is two-fold deterrence, and 1 deterrence fails, employment. The WMD policy of the United States uses intentional ambiguity--a technique that has not always been successful when dealing with rogue leaders. As for employment, analysis indicates that in some situations, U.S. nuclear weapons have significant advantages over non-nuclear options. Bottom line, current WMD deterrence policy requires more clarity to deter rogue leaders from using WMD. Nuclear forces of the United States are an asset for WMD deterrence, and if deterrence fails, for employment. But, nuclear options have significant distracters. Improved conventional capabilities can eliminate the need for nuclear options with one exception--an in kind response if it is desired by the NCA.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE