The path to reducing and managing our increasingly complex nuclear challenges will involve a delicate balancing of interests and players. In the Middle East, the challenge will be to suppress the nuclear appetites of state and nonstate actors as instability and conflict grow across the region and Iran’s economic and conventional military powers expand. In an increasingly nuclearized Asia, the United States must reinforce confidence in extended deterrence while countering nuclear competition and any related lowering of the nuclear-use threshold. And in Europe, this balancing act requires a reinvigoration of NATO deterrence and defense posture while deescalating the nascent Russian nuclear brinkmanship currently underway. That balancing act requires a coherent and compelling strategy for the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security that has so far proven elusive.
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