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The Logic of American Nuclear StrategyWhy Strategic Superiority Matters$
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Matthew Kroenig

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190849184

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190849184.001.0001

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(p.188) Conclusion
The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy

Matthew Kroenig

Oxford University Press

This chapter concludes the book. It reviews the book’s central argument and findings. It explains that the book found considerable support for the superiority-brinkmanship synthesis theory and that other theories found less support. It then discusses the implications of the book’s findings for international relations scholarship and for US nuclear policy. The primary theoretical contribution of this book was to resolve one of the most important and long-standing puzzles in the field of security studies: if nuclear superiority does not matter, then why do policymakers often act as if it does? For those interested in bridging the gap between international relations scholarship and US foreign policymaking, it sought to demonstrate that rigorous social science research can be policy-relevant. Finally, it examined the future of US nuclear posture and strategy and the nature of an ideal nuclear balance of power between the United States and its adversaries.

Keywords:   Bridging the Gap, ideal nuclear posture, superiority-brinkmanship synthesis theory, Nuclear Posture Review, nuclear deterrence theory, policy-relevant scholarship, robust nuclear posture

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