Deterrence 101

Deterrence 101 is a collection of three thirty-minute long videos that explore core deterrence theory. Each video describes basic deterrence concepts, roots these ideas in a historical timeline, and features interviews with leading nuclear policy experts.

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Welcome to Deterrence 101. This multimedia project–scripted, created, and produced by PONI–aims to introduce young professionals and students to nuclear deterrence. 

Each of the following video modules contains three core features: A description of basic deterrence theories and concepts, a timeline of deterrence history, and interviews with leading experts in the nuclear field. By the end of the modules, viewers will be familiar with nuclear concepts and terminology, and be equipped to engage with contemporary policy questions on these issues. 

View our trailer to preview the videos below! 

The first video, Foundations of Deterrence, explores the evolution of deterrence theory through the eyes of theorists and seminal texts. This video traces the development and evolution of various academic debates surrounding deterrence from the 1940s to present day.

The second video, Theories of Nuclear Use, analyzes the ways that nuclear weapons’ states messaged and strategized the possession of nuclear arsenals. This video tracks the development of all nine nuclear-weapon states nuclear use policies, doctrines, and strategies.

The third video, Strategic Stability, Escalation, and Crisis Management, follows multiple government and academic debates on escalation management. This final video looks at how new military conflicts and capabilities have historically challenged deterrence.

We hope that you enjoyed Deterrence 101. If you have any feedback, please reach out to the PONI team at

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