2

Various Perspectives

AIR FORCE PRESENTATIONS

Maj Gen William Chambers, assistant chief of staff of the Air Force for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, Headquarters U. S. Air Force, started both workshop sessions. He observed that deterrence is not just an Air Force issue; it is a national issue. As shown in Figure 2-1, Gen Chambers emphasized that (1) the strategic deterrence challenge is different now than decades earlier, (2) for the 21st century multi-nodal world, one type of deterrence does not fit all anticipated needs, (3) ensuring stability is the preeminent goal,1 and (4) the Air Force needs analytical tools to help it address the looming deterrence challenges.2 These challenges, he stated, include pressures to reduce future U.S. nuclear arsenals while maintaining strategic stability as well as regional assurance in the face of actual and potential proliferation of nuclear weapons by rogue states. Gen Chambers emphasized the need to recapitalize and modernize every aspect of the nuclear deterrent, specifically calling attention to the two Air Force components of the triad (land-based missiles and bombers).3 He also stressed a message that was revisited numerous times during the workshop—less is different, things change as nuclear forces are reduced. In the new strategic environment, he indicated, a new continuum of nuclear and conventional forces might become more likely. In all of this, he indicated, the Air Force needs to identify the methodologies that could provide a sound analytic basis on which to establish the Air Force strategic force requirements and priorities and justify its plans.

______________________

1 During Gen Chambers’ presentation, a participant posed a question about stability: “Does the other side always want stability?” This question elicited considerable discussion among the workshop participants. Gen Chambers agreed that some adversaries may actually want to foment instability.

2Strategic deterrence is described in this workshop summary as a complex-coupled problem involving many contextual factors of technical, social, political, and economic importance. These are often classified as "wicked problems" for which credible predictions (the needs for which are emphasized in several parts of this report) are unlikely. Projections based on trends, analytical insights, and measured time steps may be the best that can be expected. While barriers to predictions are not discussed in this workshop summary, the need to estimate uncertainties and error bands over time by rigorous analyses was a theme raised throughout the workshop. It may be that such analyses will require a combination of heuristics, which is also a point raised during the discussions associated with Peter Todd’s presentation, “Heuristics in Uncertain Environments: Ecological Rationality,” found in Chapter 2.

3 The third element of the triad consists of submarine-based ballistic missiles.



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2 Various Perspectives AIR FORCE PRESENTATIONS Maj Gen William Chambers, assistant chief of staff of the Air Force for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, Headquarters U. S. Air Force, started both workshop sessions. He observed that deterrence is not just an Air Force issue; it is a national issue. As shown in Figure 2-1, Gen Chambers emphasized that (1) the strategic deterrence challenge is different now than decades earlier, (2) for the 21st century multi-nodal world, one type of deterrence does not fit all anticipated needs, (3) ensuring stability is the preeminent goal,1 and (4) the Air Force needs analytical tools to help it address the looming deterrence challenges.2 These challenges, he stated, include pressures to reduce future U.S. nuclear arsenals while maintaining strategic stability as well as regional assurance in the face of actual and potential proliferation of nuclear weapons by rogue states. Gen Chambers emphasized the need to recapitalize and modernize every aspect of the nuclear deterrent, specifically calling attention to the two Air Force components of the triad (land-based missiles and bombers). 3 He also stressed a message that was revisited numerous times during the workshop—less is different, things change as nuclear forces are reduced. In the new strategic environment, he indicated, a new continuum of nuclear and conventional forces might become more likely. In all of this, he indicated, the Air Force needs to identify the methodologies that could provide a sound analytic basis on which to establish the Air Force strategic force requirements and priorities and justify its plans. 1 During Gen Chambers’ presentation, a participant posed a question about stability: “Does the other side always want stability?” This question elicited considerable discussion among the workshop participants. Gen Chambers agreed that some adversaries may actually want to foment instability. 2 Strategic deterrence is described in this workshop summary as a complex-coupled problem involving many contextual factors of technical, social, political, and economic importance. These are often classified as "wicked problems" for which credible predictions (the needs for which are emphasized in several parts of this report) are unlikely. Projections based on trends, analytical insights, and measured time steps may be the best that can be expected. While barriers to predictions are not discussed in this workshop summary, the need to estimate uncertainties and error bands over time by rigorous analyses was a theme raised throughout the workshop. It may be that such analyses will require a combination of heuristics, which is also a point raised during the discussions associated with Peter Todd’s presentation, “Heuristics in Uncertain Environments: Ecological Rationality,” found in Chapter 2. 3 The third element of the triad consists of submarine-based ballistic missiles. 3

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Russia China Prague Speech USSR DPRK Iran Political Budget Policy Non-State Actors Guidance Allies & Future Arms Control Partners Avoid Assurance Box Canyons Extended Deterrence Allies Dead End Deterrence Principles Military Advice Triad Conventional Mass Missile Defense Investment Recapitalize Triad Bi-Polar Focus Anti-Access/Area Denial Cold War Post-Cold War Multi-Nodal World Increasing Regional Dynamic Credible Capability yNeededi for- Deterrence/Assurance Integrit - Serv ce Excellence 1 FIGURE 2-1 Ensuring that stability is the outcome. SOURCE: Maj Gen William Chambers, Assistant Chief of Staff of the Air Force for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, “A10 Opening Remarks,” presentation to the workshop on September 26, 2012. Near the ends of both workshop sessions, Gen Chambers provided expanded discussions of his needs. A synopsis follows: Given the actors of the future, he questioned what analytical tools can be used. Current analyses, such as analyses supporting the nuclear triad, may no longer be sufficiently persuasive. He was heartened to see the intellectual capabilities being applied to this multi-disciplinary problem. Observing that regional issues are compelling, Gen Chambers noted that being able to handle the regional problem sets with analytical tools is important, so, if this workshop or any follow-on study leads to production of analyses that will help the Air Force make sound arguments for the appropriate regional flexibility, the efforts will be a success. 4 He added that it is all about investing in the right systems for the future. Lt Gen James Kowalski, commander, Air Force Global Strike Command, emphasized in his presentation at the first workshop session that the United States is no longer in a Cold-War setting; rather, the issue is how to get from there to today and beyond, especially given the multi-polar backdrop that now exists. As shown in Figure 2-2, Gen Kowalski indicated that nuclear deterrence is the cornerstone of strategic stability (among the great powers, no one has incentive for a first strike) and underpins U.S. conventional and diplomatic power. He expressed concern about safety, security, and effectiveness of U.S. nuclear forces in light of the possibility of moving to lower numbers of nuclear weapons, for example, a few hundred deliverable warheads along with diminished capabilities provided by national laboratories and the industrial base. 4 While not stated explicitly by Gen Chambers, an important extension of this point is the need to identify the viable alternatives for solving the problem backed up by rigorous analyses of the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. The selection among the alternatives should be left to the decision maker. 4

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 Nuclear Deterrence is the cornerstone of strategic stability  Framework for mil-to-mil and diplomatic engagement  US nuclear forces are part of a regional deterrence architecture  Nuclear assurance reduces allies’ incentives to seek their own nuclear weapons  Conventional capabilities prepared to defeat adversaries and succeed in a wide-range of contingencies  Long range power projection capabilities deter adversaries  Reinforces the integrity of alliances and security partnerships  Flexibility in a complex, multi-polar geopolitical environment Nuclear deterrence underpins our nation’s conventional & diplomatic power UNCLASSIFIED To Deter and Assure FIGURE 2-2 Air Force Global Strike Command’s bottom-line mission. SOURCE: Lt Gen James Kowalski, “AFGSC Science and Technology Challenges to AFSB,” presentation to the workshop on September 26, 2012. Mr. Hunter Hustus, technical advisor, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Air Force for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, provided a presentation to the first workshop session titled “Where Are We Now? What Is Useful?” An abstract of Mr. Hustus’ presentation is found in Box 2-1. BOX 2-1 Where Are We Now? What Is Useful? Hunter Hustus, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Air Force for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration The emergence of new nuclear weapons states erodes the Cold War bi-polar nature of strategic deterrence. Reductions in the size of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons arsenals bring an end to the condition of Mutually Assured Destruction. As arsenal size decreases, the value of each warhead/system increases as does the complexity of the deterrence challenge. Policies on force structure, targeting, missile defenses, arms control agreements, and social/economic organization require new analysis. Cold War foundational constructs and analytic approaches (e.g., game theoretic) for strategic deterrence remain informative and necessary but may be insufficient for full comprehension of modern deterrence dynamics. The Air Force looks forward to the results of the workshop. 5

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ADDITIONAL PRESENTATIONS Dr. Daryl Press, associate professor of government, Dartmouth College, discussed future nuclear challenges at the first workshop session. The key takeaways from his presentation were (1) nuclear deterrence may be more difficult than most believe; (2) the biggest challenge is avoiding escalation during wars; and (3) there are analytic challenges regarding the future of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Dr. Press likened today's escalation problem to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO's) problem during the Cold War—when NATO faced what was believed to be overwhelming Soviet conventional power, and so nuclear weapons were likely to be used to stop a Soviet advance. Today the United States enjoys conventional superiority, but the roles are reversed, and less capable entities now possess nuclear weapons. In other words, adversaries may have a powerful incentive to “go nuclear,” because losing a war to the United States can lead to a very bad outcome. Dr. Press closed by questioning if there is an emerging U.S. nuclear capability problem—for example, high versus low yields—and suggesting analytic- approach implications for a follow-on study to this workshop (i.e., perceptions and deterrence or capabilities and deterrence). Lt Gen Frank Klotz (USAF, Ret.), senior fellow for strategic studies and arms control, Council on Foreign Relations, offered his insights at the second workshop session. An abstract of Gen Klotz’s remarks is found in Box 2-2. Mr. David Palkki, deputy director, Conflict Records Research Center, National Defense University, provided a presentation to the first workshop session titled “Saddam Hussein’s Views on the Role of Nuclear Weapons and Perceptions Influencing his Decision-making.” An abstract of Dr. Palkki’s presentation is found in Box 2-3. Dr. Peter Todd, professor of cognitive science, informatics, and psychological and brain sciences, Indiana University, provided a presentation to the second workshop session titled “Heuristics in Uncertain Environments: Ecological Rationality.” An abstract of Dr. Todd’s presentation is found in Box 2-4. BOX 2-2 Achieving a Politically and Technically Sustainable Nuclear Posture for the 21st Century Lt Gen Frank Klotz (USAF, Ret.), Council on Foreign Relations The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review states that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will sustain safe, secure, and effective nuclear forces. Other nuclear-armed states show little inclination to reduce their stockpiles to zero; some are even pursuing substantial efforts to modernize, diversify, and, in some cases, expand their existing nuclear forces. At the same time, public interest and political support for programs to maintain, much less modernize remaining U.S. nuclear capabilities have sharply declined since the end of the Cold War. Achieving consensus on the way ahead requires that two different, but not necessarily mutually exclusive beliefs be taken into account: (1) that appropriately sized nuclear forces still play an essential role in protecting U.S. and allied interests, and (2) that the United States must lead international efforts to limit and reduce nuclear arsenals, prevent proliferation, and secure nuclear materials. 6

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BOX 2-3 Saddam Hussein’s Views on the Role of Nuclear Weapons and Perceptions Influencing His Decision Making Mr. David Palkki, National Defense University When U.S. and U.S.-allied troops entered Iraq in 2003, they captured millions of pages of Iraqi documents and several thousand audio files of Saddam Hussein’s meetings with his inner circle. These records provide unparalleled material with which to assess a recent adversary’s perceptions and decision making. I present two major findings regarding Saddam’s beliefs about nuclear weapons. First, Saddam and other Iraqi leaders believed that nuclear weapons provide strategic leverage, and they pursued nuclear weapons, in part, to enable conventional aggression. Iraqi acquisition of nuclear weapons would have led to violent, destabilizing Iraqi behavior. Analysts have paid too little attention to offensive, revisionist motives driving Saddam and other leaders to pursue the bomb. Second, concerns about U.S. nuclear retaliation were central to Saddam’s decision not to use chemical or biological weapons in 1991. Contrary to most accounts, however, neither ambiguous U.S. nuclear threats nor U.S. threats to replace the Ba’athist regime led to Saddam’s restraint. BOX 2-4 Heuristics in Uncertain Environments: Ecological Rationality Dr. Peter Todd, Indiana University Traditional views of rational decision making assume that individuals should make choices by using powerful mechanisms to process all of the information available. But given that human and animal minds have evolved to be quick and just “good enough” in environments where information is often costly and difficult to obtain, we should instead expect individuals to draw on an “adaptive toolbox” of simple, fast and frugal heuristics that make good decisions with limited information and processing. These heuristics typically ignore most of the available information and rely on only a few important cues. And yet they make choices that are not only accurate when fitting their appropriate application domains, but can also be more accurate than traditionally rational strategies in uncertain environments—that is, when they have to generalize to new situations. Simple heuristics yield ecological rationality through their fit to particular information structures in the environment, and achieve their robustness in the face of environmental uncertainty via stopping rules that limit the cues they consider and so avoid overfitting noise—that is, assigning too much weight to useless cues. They also lessen the cost and other risks of gathering information. People successfully employ a variety of these heuristics in particular decision situations, such as those with time pressure and without the need to justify actions, for tasks including choosing among currently available alternatives and searching for a good-enough option out of a sequence of possibilities seen over time. 7

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One of the discussion points after Dr. Todd’s presentation concerned the availability and use of information about the types of heuristics that different leader personalities might use. Ms. Amy Woolf, specialist in nuclear weapons policy, Congressional Research Service, shared her views on the evolution of U.S. strategic deterrence at the second workshop session. Ms. Woolf described the process of supporting Congress—a body that consists of more than 500 elected officials and thousands of staff representing interests of all the states of our nation and numerous districts within those states—a body in which most members are interested in matters other than strategic deterrence. Ms. Woolf offered that it has been useful that a small, focused group of individuals in Congress have remained interested in and committed to nuclear matters and that credible analysis could potentially be used with great effect on this group. Finally, Ms. Woolf emphasized that tightening budgets will affect congressional decisions going forward. 8