Conventional prompt global strike valuable military option or threat to global stability
Shull, Todd C.
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This thesis examines the potential destabilizing implications of conventional prompt global strike capabilities that operate from or through space. Existing material on this subject is largely limited to debates over the merits of terrestrial verses space basing and arguments against deployment over perceived increases in the likelihood of inadvertent nuclear war. This thesis addresses these issues, but takes the next step and analyzes the root causes and proposes possible solutions to the "security dilemma" these weapons may create. The central finding is that in order to fully exploit the predicted advantages of conventional prompt global strike capabilities, significant changes to the enduring Cold War nuclear postures of the United States and Russia are necessary.