Busting Myths about Nuclear Deterrence
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST
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America is embarked on a quest for a world without nuclear weapons, but we live in a world not yet safe from war and threats of war. Hence, as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States must maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal both to deter potential adversaries and to assure US allies and other security partners that they can count on US security commitments. Our nuclear posture communicates to potential nuclear-armed adversaries that they cannot use nuclear threats to intimidate the United States, its allies, or partners or escalate their way out of failed conventional aggression. The United States Air Force USAF will continue to maintain its responsibilities as steward of two of the nation s three legs of the strategic nuclear triad and the nation s associated nuclear command, control, and communications infrastructure. Since the Cold War, three states India, Pakistan, and North Korea have developed nuclear-weapon capabilities, while Iran remains on course to do so. Moreover, ongoing nuclear modernization programs in China and Russia point to the continued importance of nuclear deterrence and assurance for our allies and partners. Some countries now have military doctrines that include potential first use of nuclear weapons in a militarized crisis, and these countries regularly exercise those doctrines. These threats require the United States to seriously consider its responsibility to educate and advocate for the commitment and investment needed to sustain nuclear deterrence capabilities in a dangerous world. The commitment must resemble Voltaire s Candide, dealing with the world as it is, rather than succumbing to the quest of Cervantes s Don Quixote, tilting fatefully at windmills. Currently, there are too many erroneous popular myths accepted uncritically by too many people about US nuclear capability.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Weapons