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Second Nuclear Age

In this April 2016 presentation by Ed Timperlake, the question of how to reshape US strategy to deal with the second nuclear age is the focus of attention.

Are we trapped by our historical knowledge of “deterrence?”

Professor Bracken: “If the United States doesn’t have a flexible, reliable nuclear posture it can’t deal effectively with other countries who do.  It is the ultimate vulnerability that shapes other security choices.”

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Second Nuclear Age

  1. 1. The Second Nuclear Age The North Korean Case By Ed Timplerlake h<p:// h<p://www.sldforum/com
  2. 2. The Dynamic Global Context •  The overlap of mulGple crises at the same Gme is creaGng a significant challenge to the US and the allied democracies. •  Crises tend to be segregated in the press coverage, analyGcal assessments or by the poliGcal process. Yet the crises facing the U.S. and its democraGc allies are interacGve and cascading. •  What is the nature of the gathering storm facing the U.S. and its democraGc allies? •  How best to deal with the cascading crises in a connected world affecGng the viability of democraGc socieGes? •  And nuclear weapons remain the key element in shaping or survival and security.
  3. 3. Key Drivers of Change •  The disaggregaGon of Europe in the wave of mulGple crises; •  Strategic upheaval in the Middle East and its global impact; •  The cascading impact of Chinese expansion and Russian aggression on a fluid global system; •  Iranian acGons in the wake of the Iranian agreement, and their impact on key allies in the region; •  The emergence of 21st century forces of informaGon war impacGng on the poliGcal debate and consensus in the US and its democraGc allies; •  The impact of poliGcal correctness on avoiding tough strategic issues; •  The failure of the strategic elite to step up to the challenge.
  4. 4. The Rules of Nuclear Deterrence and Defense Are Changing •  The Russians have included tacGcal nuclear weapons within the convenGonal kill chain. •  And the Russians have directly threatened Denmark with a nuclear strike and have pracGced a nuclear strike against Sweden. •  The Iranians have demonstrated the significant poliGcal value of near possession of nuclear weapons. •  The key role of China in both possessing and supporGng states with nuclear weapons. •  North Korea poses a clear and present danger to the United States without a clear understanding of what the US needs to do to stop their use
  5. 5. Mission Statements Defining the Challenge •  USAF Mission Statement –  The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and air, space and cyberspace. •  USN Mission Statement –  If Deterrence fails, the Navy will conduct decisive combat operaGons to defeat any enemy •  US Army ADA Mission Statement –  Army's Field Manual 44-100, the mission of Air Defense ArGllery is "to protect the force and selected geopoliGcal assets from aerial a<ack, missile a<ack, and surveillance. •  NORK "Dear Leader's" Mission Statement –  Turn Washington and Seoul into “flames and ashes” with a “pre-empGve nuclear strike of jusGce.” •  Iranian Religious Leader's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's Mission Statemen –  America is sGll "The Great SaGn" and Israel is a “fake” regime, and said there won’t be any Israel in 25 years from now.
  6. 6. How the Combat Commander Sees the Challenger •  Compare our interview 3 ½ years ago with General Jacoby, ASA. the NORTHCOM/NORAD COMMANDER, to our most recent one with Admiral Gortney, USN •  DramaGcally different threat environment –  Now the US and Canadian homelands face direct threats from the 10 and 2 O’Clock Vectors •  What deters North Korea or any non-state nuclear actor? •  For the Combat Commanders , this is NOT a seminar quesGon.
  7. 7. Conclusion •  Admiral Gortney: “It is not what is in my head that ma<ers; it is what is in his?” •  There is a significant cross-learning process world wide among the second nuclear age players. •  Are we trapped by our historical knowledge of “deterrence.” •  Professor Bracken: “If the United States doesn’t have a flexible, reliable nuclear posture it can’t deal effecGvely with other countries who do. It is the ulGmate vulnerability that shapes other security choices.”