nuclear deterrence


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nuclear deterrence

the capacity of a NATION STATE or alliance to protect itself from an attack using nuclear weapons by threatening retaliation which would result in wholesale destruction of the adversary's population and resources. Nuclear deterrence is above all a psychological concept, since a nation state or alliance must believe that an adversary has the capacity to retaliate if attacked and can credibly be expected to use it. The logic of nuclear deterrence is based upon twin assumptions:
  1. the RATIONALITY of decision-makers; and
  2. that both sides would be losers in the event of a nuclear conflict (see also MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION). Nuclear deterrence is often held to have prevented all-out wars between major powers in the post-World War II era. On the other hand, it does not prevent more limited conventional wars, and the invention of nuclear warfare has brought the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation on a world scale. See also ARMS RACE, STRATEGIC THEORY, NATION-STATE SYSTEM.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Chinese believe that the very usability of advanced conventional weapons designed to perform a deterrence role actually undermines nuclear deterrence and causes other nations to rely more on their nuclear weapons arsenals because they cannot compete with the United States conventionally.
The paper, in part, read: "It is now time to question the distinction between possession and use which has long been a governing assumption of much ethical discourse on nuclear deterrence.
Because of our success, oftentimes nuclear deterrence operations can be overlooked as a critical function," said Col.
North Korea's) powerful nuclear deterrence is faithfully guarding our sky, land and sea," the article said, suggesting its nuclear capability to defend against provocations.
Pyongyang's powerful National Defense Commission, chaired by the North's leader Kim Jong-Un, threatened on March 15 to demonstrate its nuclear deterrence.
Most people believe the evidence of Cold War crises uniformly demonstrates nuclear deterrence reliably controls violence in a crisis.
Nuclear deterrence does not provide the certainty that it seemed to in the past.
The continued seductive power of the Cold War logic and language of nuclear deterrence is the primary reason, though for some states it is clear that the testosterone factor -- perceived status and prestige -- also plays a role.
The country "will take steps for physical counteraction to bolster the military capabilities for self-defense including the nuclear deterrence both qualitatively and quantitatively," its Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
Much of our national political debate has been shaped by perceptions of nuclear war, and nuclear deterrence depends, in part, on conceptions of nuclear war.
Ishihara should think about how or if nuclear deterrence works, Yuzaki said, adding such a simulation would not be a deterrent.
Nuclear Deterrence in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Cold War for a New Era of Strategic Piracy.

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