The conventional wisdom among nuclear experts has long held that defense against a large-scale nuclear attack is not feasible. Nuclear warheads are so destructive that anything less than a perfect defense probably isn’t worth the effort–and no defense is perfect. However, Russia’s repeated nuclear threats since the Ukraine crisis suggest that the West may have no choice but to try defending itself, otherwise it could be coerced over and over again in the future. With regard to defending the U.S. homeland, five principles are essential. First, the defense must be layered. Second, the defense must be resilient. Third, the defense must have a cost advantage over the offense. Fourth, the defense must rely on directed energy for much of its interception capability. Fifth, the defense must mesh with an offensive deterrent, meaning the two components of the posture should be complementary. I have written a commentary here.
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