Nuclear Superiority: The 'New Triad' and the Evolution of American Nuclear Strategy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Nuclear Superiority

The 'New Triad' and the Evolution of American Nuclear Strategy, 1st Edition

By David S. McDonough


112 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415427340
pub: 2006-10-25
Hardback: 9781138452565
pub: 2017-07-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203717462
pub: 2013-02-01
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In 2002 the Bush administration completed a Nuclear Posture Review that introduced a ‘new triad’ based on offensive-strike systems, defences and a revitalized defence infrastructure. The new triad is designed for a new strategic threat environment, characterized not by a long-standing nuclear rivalry with another superpower, but by unstable relationships with rogue-state proliferators, alongside more ambiguous relations with nuclear-weapon powers.

Providing a historical context to these modifications to US nuclear strategy, Nuclear Superiority details how the new triad, which strongly emphasizes the need to bolster the credibility of the nuclear deterrent and to prepare for nuclear use when deterrence fails, is founded on previous efforts to secure nuclear superiority against the Soviet Union and counter-proliferation capabilities against WMD-proliferant adversaries. It illustrates how the evolution of American nuclear strategy towards more effective counter-force capabilities, regardless of the current threat environment, has led to a host of counter-force developments. David S. McDonough explores how this strategy is based on the long-standing American desire to control conflict escalation and how it may invite crisis instability with regional adversaries and disquiet among established nuclear powers.

About the Series

Adelphi series

The Adelphi series is The International Institute for Strategic Studies' flagship contribution to policy-relevant, original academic research.

Six books are published each year. They provide rigorous analysis of contemporary strategic and defence topics that is useful to politicians and diplomats, as well as academic researchers, foreign-affairs analysts, defence commentators and journalists.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / Nuclear Warfare
HISTORY / Military / Strategy