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Nuclear weapons
One of the first nuclear bombs.

History
Warfare
Arms race
Design
Testing
Effects
Delivery
Espionage
Proliferation
Arsenals
Terrorism
Civil defense

Nuclear-armed states

United States · Russia
United Kingdom · France
China · India · Israel
Pakistan · North Korea
South Africa (fmr.)

Nuclear strategy involves the development of doctrines and strategies for the production and use of nuclear weapons.

As a sub-branch of military strategy, nuclear strategy attempts to match nuclear weapons as means to political ends. In addition to the actual use of nuclear weapons whether in the battlefield or strategically, a large part of nuclear strategy involves their use as a bargaining tool.

Some of the issues considered within nuclear strategy include:

  • Under what conditions does it serve a nation's interest to develop nuclear weapons?
  • What types of nuclear weapons should be developed?
  • When and how should such weapons be used?

Many strategists argue that nuclear strategy differs from other forms of military strategy because the immense and terrifying power of the weapons makes their use in seeking victory in a traditional military sense impossible.

Perhaps counterintuitively, an important focus of nuclear strategy has been determining how to prevent and deter their use, a crucial part of mutual assured destruction.

In the context of nuclear proliferation and maintaining the balance of power, states also seek to prevent other states from acquiring nuclear weapons as part of nuclear strategy.

See also

Further reading

  • Baylis, John, and John Garnett. Makers of Nuclear Strategy. London: Pinter, 1991. ISBN 1-85567-025-9.
  • Brodie, Bernard. The Absolute Weapon. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1946.
  • Brodie, Bernard. Strategy in the Missile Age. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959.
  • Dunn, Lewis A. Deterrence Today - Roles, Challenges, and Responses Paris: IFRI Proliferation Papers n° 19, 2007.
  • Freedman, Lawrence. The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. ISBN 0-333-97239-2 .
  • Kahn, Herman. On Thermonuclear War. 2nd ed. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1961.
  • Kaplan, Fred M. The Wizards of Armageddon. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983. ISBN 0-671-42444-0.
  • Kissinger, Henry A. Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy. New York: Harper, 1957.
  • Rai Chowdhuri, Satyabrata. Nuclear Politics: Towards A Safer World, Ilford: New Dawn Press, 2004.
  • Rosenberg, David. "The Origins of Overkill: Nuclear Weapons and American Strategy, 1945-1960." International Security 7, 4 (Spring, 1983): 3-71.
  • Schelling, Thomas C. The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960.
  • Schelling, Thomas C. Arms and Influence. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966.
  • Smoke, Richard. National Security and the Nuclear Dilemma. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993. ISBN 0-07-059352-3.
  • Wohlstetter, Albert. "The Delicate Balance of Terror." Foreign Affairs 37, 211 (1958): 211-233.
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