In the nuclear realm, the challenge of civilian control is solved with presidential authority. Understanding and addressing the concessions that presidents might make to military expertise surfaces the precarious nature of civilian nuclear command and control.
Conventional hypersonic strike weapons may undermine deterrence by complicating early-warning and increasing the vulnerability of forward-based forces to surprise attack below the nuclear threshold. Nevertheless, history shows that adaptation to strategically disruptive technologies is possible.
How would new norms for testing space weapons affect nuclear stability and traditional deterrence? Would a direct-ascent ASAT limit or ban create stability or further destabilize the space and nuclear domains?
Today, traditional nuclear missions increasingly intersect with emerging technical domains such as space and cyber. How can policymakers mitigate the risks that bureaucratic competition can pose to the shared mission of defending the nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3) system?
What would detailed conventional nuclear integration in doctrine, concepts, and large-scale exercises look like? Joint concepts inform high-level military doctrine, which in turn provides guidance on what the military should aim to achieve through planning and training in large-scale exercises.
Understanding international security issues at the “nuclear nexus” is critical for managing a contemporary security environment characterized by rapid technological innovation, increased strategic competition, and a looming nuclear shadow.