Of owl or ostrich? The U.S. Policy of calculated ambiguity to deter the use of chemical and biological weapons
Lakamp, Mark A.
Yost, David S.
Wirtz, James J.
MetadataShow full item record
The United States has adopted a policy of calculated ambiguity regarding the role of nuclear weapons in response to a potential chemical or biological weapons (CBW) attack. Many factors affect decisions about the role nuclear weapons play in U.S. counterproliferation strategy. This thesis describes the policy of calculated ambiguity and offers some observations about its prospects and pitfalls. The thesis presents evidence that suggests nuclear weapons could play a positive role in the U.S. counterproliferation strategy, at least in some circumstances. It also explains how such a role could conflict with the U.S. nonproliferation strategy. Such a role would also violate the nuclear taboo and be seen by a majority of countries as illegal and immoral. The United States has chosen a policy of calculated ambiguity in an attempt to retain the deterrent value of nuclear weapons without paying the political, legal, and moral costs of explicit reliance on nuclear weapons to deter the use of CBW. This may have short-term benefits, but ultimately may damage the national interest.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Unification strategy for North and South Korea the most prudent U.S. policy option to solve the North Korean nuclear crisis Lee, Hyon K. David (Monterey California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2004-09);The North Korean nuclear issue reached a dangerous impasse in the recent months as North Korea continues to resist international pressure to halt its nuclear weapons and missile programs. North Korea watchers and nuclear ...
Lambert, Stephen P.; Miller, David.A. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1996-12);The United States and NATO are on the verge of major new policy debates regarding nuclear weapons in Europe, yet increasingly, U.S. and some NATO European policy makers find it difficult to articulate persuasive rationales ...
Mayer, Charles C. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2004-09);Throughout twenty-five years of strained relations, U.S. policy efforts have delayed but not thwarted Iran's clandestine nuclear weapons program, largely because Washington has failed to influence Iran's motivations for ...