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Nuclear Strategy in a Complex World Reassessing U.S. Cold War Nuclear Strategy I
Nuclear Strategy in a Complex World Reassessing U.S. Cold War Nuclear Strategy In an essay of approximately ten (10) pages (double spaced, 12 point font) please respond to the following topic on U.S. Cold War nuclear strategy: Having examined both the historical development of U.S. nuclear strategy throughout the Cold War, as well as foundational theories of nuclear deterrence, how would you explain the impact of nuclear weapons in the Cold War context? Specifically: - What role did nuclear weapons play in keeping the Cold War “cold?” - How would you explain the emergence of the strategy of “assured destruction” (and the perception of mutually assured destruction (MAD)) and the criticisms arising from various approaches that constitute the “war fighting school?” - How would you explain the influence of critical factors on U.S. nuclear policy decisions? Specifically, how important were: o The strategic balance between the United States and Soviet Union? o Significant technological developments, like ABM or MIRV? o Perceptions of Soviet leaders (rational, risk-acceptance, aggressive, etc.)? - In retrospect, what would you argue was the optimal nuclear strategy for the United States during the Cold War?

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