Non-Nuclear Strategic Deterrence of State and Non-State Adversaries Potential Approaches and Prospects for Success
DEFENSE THREAT REDUCTION AGENCY FORT BELVOIR VA
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Growing doubts about the credibility of the use of nuclear-based threats against smaller states and non-state actors NSAs armed with weapons of mass destruction WMD, especially biological and chemical weapons BWCW, have prompted concern among US policy makers and defense practitioners. US conventional-based threats do not suffer from the same credibility problem, but historically the deterrent effectiveness of such military force was open to question. The significant improvement in US conventional forces over the past decade raises the prospects for relying exclusively on non-nuclear weapons to deter at least some WMD-armed adversaries. This report examines potential approaches to non-nuclear strategic deterrence NNSD and their prospects for success against both state and 11011-state adversaries. The project team begins by laying out a basic deterrence framework and applying it to WMD-armed adversaries to identify key issues and requirements for NNSD. This framework takes into account significent contextual regional, historical, and idiosyncratic differences for deterrence. Next, the team explores NNSD options and identifies the most promising approaches. Then, the compatibility of NNSD approaches with existing US doctrine, force structure, and organization is addressed, followed by consideration of changes advantageous to NNSD. Finally, the report concludes with a general assessment of the prospects for NNSD and with priority recommendations to improve its potential.
- Government and Political Science
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare