Nuclear arsenals exist to deter attack. Their size is less important than whether they convince a potential aggressor there is nothing to be gained by launching a surprise attack. So nuclear reductions are not inherently virtuous — cutting the wrong way can actually make war more likely by simplifying the targeting challenge that an aggressor faces. With that in mind, it is important for the incoming Trump Administration to focus on why the U.S. has a nuclear triad, and how strategic stability can be strengthened. Maybe it makes sense for the U.S. and Russia to negotiate further arms reductions and maybe it doesn’t, but the goal in nuclear strategy is to minimize the likelihood of war — and that isn’t synonymous with going lower. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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