When strategists discuss strategic deterrence, they are almost always talking about nuclear weapons. However, the Pentagon is planning to introduce non-nuclear hypersonic missiles into the joint force later in this decade, and the novel features of those systems could contribute to the current deterrence regime. Among other things, hypersonic weapons can assure the penetration of retaliatory strikes, make it easier to mount responses that are proportional to the provocation, enable the U.S. to avoid crossing the nuclear threshold, bolster credibility with enemies and allies alike, and shape the escalatory process with an eye to early termination of hostilities if deterrence fails. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: