This paper addresses the threat strategic non-nuclear weapons pose to strategic stability, and explores options for mitigating this growing peril. This paper makes the case for delineating different types of strategic non-nuclear weapons, as well as differentiating strategic non-nuclear weapons from other types of advanced conventional weaponry. In this regard, the paper provides some parameters for what such a delineation could look like, and outlines what implications a better technical understanding of strategic non-nuclear weapons would yield in terms of strategic stability considerations.
The first part of this paper introduces the notion of ‘strategic non-nuclear weapon.’ It defines the term, provides a historical contextualization, and outlines why strategic non-nuclear weapons have become a growing threat to strategic stability in recent years. In the second part, the paper outlines and explains a number of key variables that render advanced conventional weapons ‘strategic.’ In this regard, it presents a ‘counterforce coefficient equation’ that, together with the range of the weapon system in question, can determine its strategic utility. The third and final section outlines the implications of this research and provides recommendations on how the P5 can make further progress on the issue.
Strategic non-nuclear weapons and strategic stability – Promoting trust through technical understanding
Fabian Hoffmann, November 15, 2021
- Strategic non-nuclear weapons and strategic stability – Promoting trust through technical understanding