Strategic Insights: Thinking About Catastrophe: The Army in a Nuclear Armed World

  • December 14, 2015
  • Dr Steven Metz

Nothing is more important to American security than nuclear weapons. Despite all the fretting over terrorism, hybrid threats, and conventional aggression, only nuclear weapons can threaten the existence of the United States and destroy the global economy. This is certainly not news to American policymakers and military strategists: they have recognized the centrality of nuclear weapons at least since the Soviets detonated their first atomic bomb in 1949. But so far, U.S. strategy has focused almost exclusively on deterring attacks from a hostile nuclear state, preventing unfriendly nations from acquiring nuclear weapons and, after the break up of the Soviet Union, keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.