President Trump today unveiled a new Pentagon missile-defense plan that is more robust than what he inherited from the Obama Administration. However, in one key respect it is unchanged: the United States will not attempt to defend its homeland against large-scale nuclear attacks originating in Russia. It will rely instead on the threat of retaliation to deter nuclear aggression by Moscow. In other words, the U.S. will devote more resources to defending against small nuclear attacks by Iran or North Korea than on the existential nuclear threat posed by Russia. The reason for this seemingly paradoxical strategy resides in the extreme difficulty of blunting large-scale nuclear aggression by Russia, and concerns about how Moscow might react if Washington attempted to do so. I have written an explanatory commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: