Reassessing U.S. Nuclear Strategy

by David W. Kearn, Jr.

Reviews

“This well-organized book offers a unique contribution to the field of nuclear strategy and nuclear force posture. In particular, the organization of the book around enduring debates on nuclear weapons as well as alternative nuclear postures is an effective device for presenting the subject. The arguments are fully developed and well presented, and the scholarship is outstanding.” —Thomas G. Mahnken, President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. (CSBA) and coeditor of The Gathering Pacific Storm: Emerging US-China Strategic Competition in Defense Technological and Industrial Development

“The U.S. nuclear deterrent is at a crossroads. Decisions about modernization loom on the horizon as nuclear-armed missiles, bombers and submarines 'age out' of the arsenal. In this provocative analysis, David Kearn helps set modernization priorities by linking courses of action to different strategic objectives. Reassessing U.S. Nuclear Strategy identifies competing futures for the nuclear deterrent and the implications for doctrine and delivery systems. Kearn offers important insight into what must occur if nuclear deterrence is to remain a cornerstone of U.S. defense policy.” —James J. Wirtz, Dean of the School of International Graduate Studies, Naval Postgraduate School

"The debate about the future of the U.S. nuclear deterrent is usually cluttered with technical details, budget numbers, and a large dose of cold war logic. In this timely new book, David Kearn offers an important remedy. With admirable clarity, he reduces to its essence the central question in U.S. nuclear strategy: whether to seek primacy, to opt for minimum deterrence, or to sustain the legacy commitment to robust strategic deterrence. His analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each is fresh and engaging, as it is informed by a clear understanding of the current security environment. His conclusions will carry significant weight in the modernization debate." —Brad Roberts, Director of the Center for Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

"Nuclear weapons are back, and Kearn gives us a clear guide to the bitter and complex debates about American policy toward them. Any reader of this comprehensive and fair-minded account will be in a better position to understand the issues and alternatives." —Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia University; and author of How Statesmen Think


 

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