What is the Role of America’s Nuclear Arsenal?

Posted June 23, 2015 at 5:10am

Defense One looks at a new report from the Center for Strategic & International Studies that includes a debate over whether the United States should “develop new low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons to deter countries from seeking nuclear weapons of their own.”  

“The report recommends the U.S. keep its ‘rough parity’ with Russia and ‘nuclear superiority’ over China. It also suggests the U.S. ‘ maintain sufficient capability to cope simultaneously with nuclear-armed “regional rogues”‘ and ‘maintain a smaller stockpile, which is enabled by a responsive infrastructure.’ In the report, Murdock argues that the superiority of the American military will lead certain countries to seek nuclear arms as an asymmetric counter.”  

“Barry Blechman and Russell Rumbaugh of the Stimson Center argue that the American military is so far superior to its global counterparts that ‘nuclear weapons add few options’ to the U.S. palette. ‘Indeed, given U.S. conventional military superiority, nuclear weapons serve no military role for the United States beyond deterring nuclear attacks on itself and its allies,’ they write in one of the report’s appendices.”