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The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy – Why Strategic Superiority Matters - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy: Why Strategic Superiority Matters

Matthew Kroenig


What kind of nuclear strategy and posture does the United States need to defend itself and its allies? According to conventional wisdom, the answer to this question is straightforward: the United States needs the ability to absorb an enemy nuclear attack and respond with a devastating nuclear counterattack. These arguments are logical and persuasive, but, when compared to the empirical record, they raise an important puzzle. Empirically, we see that the United States has consistently maintained a nuclear posture that is much more robust than a mere second-strike capability. How do we make sens ... More

Keywords: nuclear, strategy, deterrence, theory, brinkmanship, superiority-brinkmanship synthesis theory, superiority, weapon, proliferation, arms race

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190849184
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190849184.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew Kroenig, author
Associate Professor of Political Science, Georgetown University