Conventional Force Integration in Global Strike
It should not have come as any surprise that the Bush administration’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) was greeted largely as evidence that U.S. policy makers intended to rely increasingly on nuclear weapons. Until very recently, nuclear deterrence formed the foundation of U.S. national security strategy. Nuclear weapons were expected to deter strikes not only on the American homeland but also on allies in Europe and Asia. Within the growing community of nuclear abolitionists, the end of the Cold War and the nuclear equilibrium that defined it represented a rare turning point in the longstanding quest to eliminate nuclear weapons globally. Many observers expected nuclear arsenals to dwindle in size and importance in the new strategic circumstances, and they remain sensitive to changes in U.S. nuclear weapons policy that portend the persistence of these weapons. Thus, the fact that the NPR mentions the potential need for new types of nuclear weapons to deal, for example, with targets that may not be susceptible to increasingly effective nonnuclear strike forces provoked a firestorm of criticism.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Ballistic Missile Force Integration Cruise Missile Nuclear Deterrence
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