- The Oxford Handbook of U.S. National Security
- About the Editors
- Foreword: U.S. National Security for the Twenty-First Century
- Introduction: Shape and Scope of U.S. National Security
- America’s Foreign Policy Traditions
- National Interests and Grand Strategy
- U.S. Foreign Policymaking and National Security
- Civil-Military Relations
- The Presidency and Decision Making
- The National Security Council: Is It Effective, or Is It Broken?
- The National Security Process
- Intelligence and National Security Decision Making
- Congress and National Security
- Diplomacy, the State Department, and National Security
- Development Assistance: Rationale and Applications
- Understanding and Improving U.S. Financial Sanctions
- The Political Economy of Security
- Budgeting for National Security
- Military Force Planning and National Security
- Military Operations and the Defense Department
- Alliances, Military Basing, and Logistics
- Homeland Security
- The United States and Iran: Challenges of Deterrence and Compellence
- U.S. Nuclear Strategy: The Search for Meaning
- International Cyber Conflict and National Security
- Encryption Wars: Who Should Yield?
- Space and National Security
- Human (In)Security
- Climate Change and Environmental Security
- Political Violence
- Women’s Participation in Political Violence
- International Terrorism
- Threats and Dangers in the Twenty-First Century
- International Rivalry and National Security
- Interstate Rivalry in East Asia
- The Transatlantic Security Landscape in Europe
- U.S. National Security in the Western Hemisphere
- Epilogue: Five Lessons for National Security Policymakers
Abstract and Keywords
Because of their awesome destructive capability, nuclear weapons require national security policymakers to carefully evaluate how they fit within a country’s national security posture. No consensus exists as to whether the use of such weapons is in fact an option for decision makers to consider or whether the goal is to ensure that they can never be used. The different strategies that have been developed since 1945 for U.S. nuclear strategy—massive retaliation, flexible response, a fatalistic acceptance of the logic of mutually assured destruction, and the search for the most effective ways of stemming nuclear proliferation in unstable or unpredictable actors—all reflect attempts to provide guidance for policymakers as to the strategic purpose of these weapons.
Thomas M. Nichols is a professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and a professor at the Harvard Extension School. He is also an adjunct professor in the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies. He served as personal staff for defense and security affairs in the United States Senate to the late Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and was a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. He was also a fellow in the International Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University. He is the author of several books, including Eve of Destruction: The Coming of Age of Preventive War, No Use: Nuclear Weapons and U.S. National Security and The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters. He holds a PhD from Georgetown, an MA from Columbia University, the Certificate of the Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union at Columbia, and a BA from Boston University.
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