CREATORKunsman, David M. / Lawson, Douglas B.
TITLEA Primer on U.S. Strategic Nuclear Policy

This report provides a basic overview of the evolution of U.S. nuclear deterrence policy from the advent of nuclear weapons until 2001. Published by the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the primer is intended for an audience with limited background in the area. The primer opens with a theoretical analysis of deterrence, offering the necessary definitions for understanding the document's contents. Organized into seven distinct eras, the primer offers a historical examination of deterrence policy. For each era, the primer notes the U.S. and Soviet or Russian leaders at the time, the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense, and notable world events. A graph illustrating the number of nuclear weapons delivery systems deployed is also provided for each era discussed. The primer's final sections emphasize crucial questions regarding nuclear deterrence and consider the likely nature of future deterrence policy. Several appendices are included, one of which identifies noteworthy contributors to strategic nuclear thinking. Extensive endnotes, numerous graphs, charts, tables, and photographs also supplement the text.

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