Journal of Social Sciences

Theoretical Context of the Nuclear Posture Review

Timothy Sands, Richard Mihalik and Harold Camacho

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2018.124.128

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 14, 2018

Pages 124-128


The very recently published 2018 American Nuclear Posture Review hails the revived emphasis on deployed, low-yield nuclear options to reserve credible deterrence against countries that have transmitted beliefs the U.S. would not respond to employment of non-strategic nuclear weapons, since there is a mistaken perception that the U.S. could only respond with high-yield strategic weapons, which would be deemed unacceptable. This research briefly evaluates this newly published development in light of the enduring theoretical debates in the literature concluding the possible potential to lower the threshold for first-use of these weapons, but identifying active mitigation efforts. The research is intended merely to begin a discussion in the literature of the new nuclear posture in context of the predominant theories in international relations and conflict.


© 2018 Timothy Sands, Richard Mihalik and Harold Camacho. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.