Accession Number : ADA325600

Title :   U.S. Nuclear Declaratory Policy The Question of Nuclear First Use,

Corporate Author : RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s) : Gompert, David ; Watman, Kenneth ; Wilkening, Dean

PDF Url : ADA325600

Report Date : 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 31

Abstract : The motivation behind this reexamination of American nuclear declaratory policy is the striking absence of deterrence from the debate over how to counter the widening threat from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Understandably, current counterproliferation policy has concentrated on ways to defend against this threat. However, given the widespread proliferation of these weapons and their means of delivery, the cost of totally effective defenses will be prohibitive. At the same time, not enough has been done to warn hostile regimes what the United States might do if American troops or friends abroad, let alone U.S. territory, were attacked with weapons of mass destruction. Thus, too much reliance is being placed on the surety of defense and too little on the utility of deterrence. Finally, the authors were motivated by the belief that a sound nuclear declaratory policy not only helps deter threats against U.S. interests but also advances the goal of slowing the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. This report reexamines the doctrine of nuclear first use that figured centrally in American and NATO strategy for decades. Specifically, it argues for the adoption of a U.S. declaratory policy that renounces the first use of any weapon of mass destruction.

Descriptors :   *NUCLEAR WARFARE, *THREAT EVALUATION, *ARMS CONTROL, *DETERRENCE, NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION, FOREIGN POLICY, MILITARY STRATEGY, INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN), MILITARY DOCTRINE, BIOLOGICAL WARFARE, CHEMICAL WARFARE, MASS DESTRUCTION WEAPONS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, NATIONAL DEFENSE, INTERNATIONAL LAW, RADIOLOGICAL WARFARE.

Subject Categories : Nuclear Warfare
      Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE