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Nuclear Deterrence In a New Age
National Institute for Public Policy ^ | December 13, 2017 | Dr. Keith B. Payne

Posted on 12/19/2017 2:16:33 PM PST by Sawdring

Introduction: On Deterrence

Carl von Clausewitz writes that the nature of war has enduring continuities, but its characteristics change with different circumstances.[1] Similarly, the fundamental nature of deterrence has endured for millennia: a threatened response to an adversary’s prospective provocation causes that adversary to decide against the provocation i.e., the adversary is deterred from attack because it decides that the prospective costs outweigh the gains. The character of deterrence, however, must adapt to different circumstances. In one case, the necessary deterrent threat may be to punish the adversary; in another, to deny the adversary its objectives; in yet another, a combination of punishment and denial threats may be necessary to deter. Such specific characteristics of deterrence—its goals, means and application—change, but the fundamental threat-based mechanism of deterrence endures.

The introduction of nuclear weapons in 1945 dramatically expanded both potential threats and the corresponding means of deterrence, as was recognized almost immediately by some at the time. The contemporary emergence of new types of threats, such as cyber and modern biological weapons, will again affect the character of deterrence. But its nature endures, and the fundamental questions about deterrence remain as elaborated by Raymond Aron and Herman Kahn during the Cold War: who deters whom, from what action, by threatening what response, in what circumstances, in the face of what counterthreats?[2]

Despite the continuity in the basic nature of deterrence, significant geopolitical, doctrinal and technological developments now demand that we again adapt our deterrence goals, means and applications to a new strategic landscape. During the Cold War, US nuclear deterrence strategies had to adapt to the relatively slow changes and enduring continuities of a bipolar strategic environment, and thereafter to the dramatic systemic transformation brought on by the collapse of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: deterrence; nuclearweapons
Some thoughts on nuclear weapon policy.
1 posted on 12/19/2017 2:16:33 PM PST by Sawdring
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To: Sawdring

There was an astonishing amount of blindness and ignorance in his writing.

2 posted on 12/19/2017 2:53:35 PM PST by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ... we.)
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To: Sawdring

A tour de force of neocon baloney.

3 posted on 12/19/2017 2:58:48 PM PST by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ... we.)
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To: DesertRhino

It’s not even a tour de force. It is just bloviating baloney. There is something important to say on the subject, but Keith Payne is not the person to say it.

4 posted on 12/19/2017 4:34:58 PM PST by AndyJackson
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To: DesertRhino

Which parts were blindness and ignorance? I think, if anything, it is late to the party.

5 posted on 12/19/2017 5:37:05 PM PST by Sawdring
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To: Sawdring

There is the X-MAD theory. That is, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) kept the peace between the US and the Soviet Union. eXtended-MAD would intentionally recreate this “unthinkable” idea, making third world nuclear exchanges unthinkable to the combatants, while importantly preventing the escalation of the nuclear exchange.

An essential part of X-MAD is that the US keeps a stock of neutron bombs on hand. Neutron bombs explode in the air, and shower the ground below with high speed neutrons, killing all life, but leaving goods and structures untouched.

For example, say Pakistan attacked India with a nuclear missile. The US would tell India to stand down for some hours, while the US detonated neutron bombs all over Pakistan. Then the now depopulated Pakistan would be given to India as reparations.

Of course, the US would have to threaten both India and Pakistan about this ahead of time. And that is where the “unthinkable” part happens.

The Pakistan government may truly not give a damn about its people, as long as they can smite their hated enemy. So even neutron bombs might not frighten them. But what *would* frighten them is the idea that ALL of their STUFF and their land would then be given to their hated enemy.

6 posted on 12/19/2017 6:23:59 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Liberals have become moralistic, dogmatic, sententious, self-righteous, pinch-faced prudes.)
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To: Sawdring
IBTDSLC (In before the Dr. Strange Love comments)

7 posted on 12/20/2017 8:06:14 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

I have to watch that movie at least once a year. So many quotable quotes.

8 posted on 12/20/2017 4:20:02 PM PST by Sawdring
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To: AndyJackson

What is the important part that needs to be said?

9 posted on 12/21/2017 4:59:21 AM PST by Sawdring
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To: DannyTN
There are four things that any student of nuclear deterrence theory needs to study:

1. Tom Schelling "Arms and Influence"

2. Tom Schelling "A World Withouth Nukes?" - where he shows the absurdity of trying to get to global zero and unilateral nuclear disarmament

3. Dr. Strangelove

4. The Godfather Parts 1 and 2

10 posted on 12/21/2017 6:31:02 AM PST by AndyJackson
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To: Sawdring
I quote the important parts - which are hardly original with Keith, but they reflect that the country woke up about two years ago to a new reality [look up Dr. Ash Carter's speeches at Minot AFB and Kirtland AFB September-October of last year where he says all of what Keith says here, said more and said it much better]

Adversaries and potential adversaries are improving familiar capabilities and acquiring new and unprecedented instruments of coercion and warfare. Some appear willing to employ or abide by the employment of weapons that have, until recently, been deemed outside supposedly global norms, such as chemical weapons. Improvements in ballistic and cruise missiles, missile defenses, anti-access and area denial measures, hypersonic, cyber and space weapons have or will open new domains for threat and warfare, and, correspondingly, pose new challenges for US deterrence strategies.

This new strategic environment is very different from that of the Cold War or the immediate post-Cold War period. As we consider how to adapt deterrence to the realities of this period we first need to understand the necessary deterrence roles for our nuclear weapons given the emerging spectrum of adversaries and potential adversaries who are pursuing external goals that threaten us, our allies and the existing post-Cold War order in general. Effective nuclear deterrence is increasingly important in this new strategic environment characterized by severe, coercive nuclear threats against us and our allies, and the increasing prospect for adversary employment of nuclear weapons, and possibly other WMD.

Moscow clearly feels that it must correct an unacceptable loss of position supposedly imposed on it by the West following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Unsurprisingly, Moscow is pursuing Great Power competition aggressively, with a revanchist agenda backed by coercive nuclear threats. Its explicit nuclear threats to the West surpass even those of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and its nuclear programs, according to Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, already have resulted in the modernization of three-fourths of Russia’s “ground, air and sea strategic nuclear forces

Chinese leaders feel that they must overturn a “century of humiliation,” and, in doing so are provoking US allies severely as Beijing seeks to overturn the existing order in Asia. Its illegal expansionism and rapidly growing military capabilities, nuclear and non-nuclear, pose a direct threat to US allies and interests.

Western deterrence goals to preserve an international order which these Great Powers now seek to overturn will be particularly challenging as they seek to recover what they believe to be rightfully theirs, but now is denied them by Western opposition.

Now, here is the part where I part company with all of the globalist neo-cons, like Keith where he says: Russia’s illegitimate occupation of Crimea and China’s illegal expansion into the East and South China Seas certainly appear to reflect this dynamic

Crimea was Russia's since before we were a country. The US has no moral claim there and part of the new Russina nuclear posture is to keep the US from sticking its nose in places where our nose just doesn't belong. And regarding China - I believe strongly in reassuring our allies on the Pacific Rim that we have their backs. But that doesn't mean that China has to get permission from the globalist imperialists before they can sail a fishing smack in the South China Sea - and that is sort of the US interpretation of the global world order.

We should not have pointed fingers at Russia and laughed at them and shown them our contempt when we did [drove our tanks up to their front porch as Buchanan puts it]. At no time in the Russian revolution and after did Russia cease to be a peer nuclear power capable of ending our way of life, however bad things got for them otherwise.

As for anything Keith has to say about NK, he was there in the Pentagon when they let that happen. He should be ashamed and embarrassed.

Trump has it about right in his Godfather approach to NK. No punk, I don't respect you and I am not dealing with you. Start anything and you disappear. You put yourself in that hole. You bankrupted yourself and starved yourself to act like a bigshot. This is not going to end well for you.

11 posted on 12/21/2017 6:47:43 AM PST by AndyJackson
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