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deterrent with the lowest-possible number of nuclear weapons consistent with our national security needs,” we can only move in that direction in an environment in which our security is maintained, our allies are assured of our commitments, and our adversaries are dissuaded and deterred. However near or remote a world free of nuclear weapons may be, a capability-based deterrence to meet today’s threats can facilitate reductions in the stockpile while maintaining our security and limiting technical risks.


Shultz, G.P., W.J. Perry, H.A. Kissinger, and S. Nun. 2008. Toward a Nuclear Free World. Editorial in the Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2008.

Lewis, J. 2008. Minimum deterrence. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 64 (3): 38–41.

Bunn, M.E. 2007. Can deterrence be tailored? Strategic Forum 225: 1–8.

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