In order to deter nuclear aggression against its homeland and vital interests, the U.S. must demonstrate that its strategic arsenal is capable of surviving an attack and then retaliating with devastating force against the aggressor. In other words, the losses an attacker would suffer must demonstrably exceed any potential gains. Thus, the paradox of nuclear strategy is that when weapons are postured effectively, they will never be used. We buy and maintain nuclear weapons in the hope they will remain in their submarines and silos forever. I have written a commentary on this topic for RealClearDefense here.
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