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leaders that a proposed military action might be cost-free. Suppose further that the United States and other relevant nations were known to have capabilities and well-exercised operations plans for strategically significant military punishment of rogue states—e.g., destruction of the adversary's naval forces or attacks on economic targets expected to cause few civilian casualties. Surely, such options would further enhance worries about ''consequences." To be sure, military punishment options would be controversial against nations with the capability for nuclear strikes on the United States (or even regional states), but the existence of such punishment options would improve deterrence and the options might actually be executable, especially given overwhelming nuclear superiority and perhaps some level of ballistic missile defense. In any case it would seem unwise to preemptively discard such options out of a belief that they could never be credible.


What implications might this discussion have for follow-on actions? It would seem that there are many implications, but Table G. 1.3 summarizes some of the most important. It ends with possible actions for the Navy, without providing analogs for the other services, because the Navy sponsored the National Research Council study for which this paper was developed.

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