Research Article Open Access

Theoretical Context of the Nuclear Posture Review

Timothy Sands1, Richard Mihalik2 and Harold Camacho3
  • 1 Stanford University, United States
  • 2 University of Texas, United States
  • 3 San Diego State University, United States


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.

Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 14 No. 1, 2018, 124-128


Submitted On: 1 March 2018 Published On: 30 March 2018

How to Cite: Sands, T., Mihalik, R. & Camacho, H. (2018). Theoretical Context of the Nuclear Posture Review. Journal of Social Sciences, 14(1), 124-128.

  • 4 Citations



  • Low-Yield
  • Nuclear Posture Review
  • Escalation
  • De-Escalation
  • Rational Actor
  • Organizational Theory
  • Nuclear Deterrence