Volume 29, Issue 4, July - August  2015

Senior Leader Perspectives

Strategic Deterrence for the Future 

Adm Cecil D. Haney, USN

Although strategic deterrence is underpinned and reinforced by our nuclear capabilities, it is more than the nuclear triad. This article reviews the diverse, complex, and uncertain security environment we currently face and the investments that both...

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons: The Neglected Stepchild of Nuclear Arms Control

Dr. George W. Ullrich
Dr. James Scouras
Dr. Michael Frankel

A succession of arms control treaties has reduced strategic nuclear arsenals dramatically and, precisely because of that success, the United States must think very carefully about the next steps in this process. Since peak deployments in 1971 of...

Feature Articles

Diplomatic Counterterrorist Deterrence: Moving beyond Military Means

SSgt Megan J. Munoz, USAF
Dr. Matthew Crosston

This article examines diplomatic deterrence strategies as an alternative to military-centric operations for the purpose of countering terrorism. Such strategies are designed to increase international security and build lasting partnerships at the...

The Iranian Missile Threat to Air Bases: A Distant Second to China's Conventional Deterrent

Jacob L. Heim

This article presents an operational analysis of the ability of Iranian and Chinese conventionally armed theater ballistic missiles (TBM) to threaten air bases that might be used by the United States in the event of war. The analysis demonstrates...

Deterrence in a Multipolar World: Prompt Attacks, Regional Challenges, and US-Russian Deterrence

Dr. Stephen J. Cimbala

The character of nuclear deterrence in the twenty-first century, compared to the Cold War years, will undergo important changes, even if its basic nature does not. The potential for the spread of nuclear weapons among regional actors in the Middle...


Deterrence in Professional Military Education 

Paul I. Bernstein

This article examines how strategic deterrence is addressed in professional military education, suggesting that overall, contemporary deterrence challenges are treated neither in depth nor systematically as a major learning objective. In light of...


US Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence: Realist versus Utopian Thinking

Dr. Keith B. Payne

This article examines how the long-standing conceptual divide in the study of international relations separating utopians and realists is reflected in their respective views of nuclear weapons and deterrence--and, ultimately, the modernization of US...

Increasing Uncertainty: The Dangers of Relying on Conventional Forces for Nuclear Deterrence

Jennifer Bradley

Arguably, Russia and China are the two most important countries with which the United States has a nuclear deterrent relationship. This article examines the goal of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report to rely less on nuclear weapons...

Book Reviews