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How Much Is Enough?: A Goal-Driven Approach to Defining Key Principles for Measuring the Adequacy of U.S. Strategic Forces

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Analyses of U.S. strategic force requirements frequently are based on assertions about the requirements for deterrence. A politically attractive position is that a relatively small number of nuclear weapons reliably meets U.S. strategic nuclear requirements. This position, however, is flawed for two reasons: first, the number/types of nuclear weapons required for deterrence cannot be identified with precision because requirements shift dramatically across time and circumstances. Second, strategic forces also are intended to assure allies and limit damage, and these goals entail separate requirements that must be included in any serious calculation of U.S. strategic force requirements.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Institute for Public Policy, Fairfax,VA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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