Maintaining nuclear superiority over China, rough parity with Russia, and developing a new set of forward-deployable tactical nuclear weapons are the principal recommendations of a new study by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
This new tactical nuclear weapons arsenal would deter U.S. adversaries from successfully deploying their “offset” strategies to counter U.S. conventional superiority. Interestingly, however, the appendix of the study contains an analysis by Barry Blechman and Russell Rumbaugh that comes to a very different conclusion than Murdoch’s and is worthwhile quoting in full:
Nuclear weapons do not achieve U.S. policy objectives, dominant conventional forces do. The U.S. interest lies in seeking to minimize the importance accorded to nuclear weapons by narrowing the roles they are perceived to play. U.S. doctrine, policy, forces, and diplomacy should all be configured to support this interest. The posture described in this paper achieves just that, in contrast to postures that imagine uses of nuclear weapons that have never actually been demonstrated. After 70 years of indulging fantasies of what nuclear weapons can do, it is high time to acknowledge that they do very little and adapt U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, and forces to those facts.
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