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As a sub-branch of military strategy, nuclear strategy attempts to match nuclear weapons as means to political ends. In addition to the actual use of nuclear weapons whether in the battlefield or strategically, a large part of nuclear strategy involves their use as a bargaining tool.
Some of the issues considered within nuclear strategy include:
- Under what conditions does it serve a nation's interest to develop nuclear weapons?
- What types of nuclear weapons should be developed?
- When and how should such weapons be used?
Many strategists argue that nuclear strategy differs from other forms of military strategy because the immense and terrifying power of the weapons makes their use in seeking victory in a traditional military sense impossible.
Perhaps counterintuitively, an important focus of nuclear strategy has been determining how to prevent and deter their use, a crucial part of mutual assured destruction.
In the context of nuclear proliferation and maintaining the balance of power, states also seek to prevent other states from acquiring nuclear weapons as part of nuclear strategy.
|Weapons of mass destruction|
- Military Strategy
- Counterforce, Countervalue
- Cost-exchange ratio
- Decapitation strike
- Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations
- Force de frappe
- First strike, Second strike
- Game theory & wargaming
- Madman theory
- Massive retaliation
- Minimal deterrence
- Mutual assured destruction (MAD)
- Assured destruction
- No first use
- National Security Strategy of the United States
- Nuclear blackmail
- Nuclear proliferation
- Nuclear utilization target selection (NUTS)
- Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP)
- Strategic bombing
- Tactical nuclear weapons
- Bernard Brodie
- Herman Kahn
- Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (1964), a film satirizing nuclear strategy.
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