DOD and the Nuclear Mission
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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This article presents an advocacy narrative for the still important contributions that nuclear weapons make to U.S. security and outlines a set of recommendations for how the Department of Defense DOD should organize for the nuclear mission. After first addressing the role of nuclear weapons in 21st-century international affairs and national security, this article reviews how the nuclear mission has been neglected in the postCold War era and suggests what actions are needed to resuscitate the nuclear deterrent. This advocacy narrative is not intended to be balanced. The downside risks of this option ought to be presented in an advocacy narrative for the strategic options that deemphasizes nuclear weapons. When U.S. Presidents face strategic choices on important issues on which there is significant disagreement on the basics, they must choose among fundamentally different courses of action rather than choosing the best way to execute a particular course of action. Trying to decide which actions the Government should take, without knowing which end-ways-means chain is being followed, results in purposeless decisions. As with other big issues, when it comes to nuclear strategy, policy, and force structure, one has to know where he is going before he can start moving in that direction.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Weapons