U.S. nuclear strategy seeks to deter aggression by threatening attackers with massive retaliation. It seems to work, but deterrence is a psychological state and we aren’t mind readers, so there are uncertainties. Even if it is working as intended, there are ways in which a strategy of deterrence might go awry. Technological failure. Strategic miscalculation. Crisis escalation. Siege mentalities among decision makers. And of course, the possibility of sheer irrationality on the part of those leading nuclear powers. When you consider all the ways deterrence might break down, the case for active defenses against nuclear aggression becomes compelling. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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