National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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U.S. Air Force
Strategic Deterrence
Analytic Capabilities

An Assessment of Tools,
Methods, and Approaches for the
21st Century Security Environment

Committee on U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Military Capabilities in
the 21st Century Security Environment

Air Force Studies Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

                                                  OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
×

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This is a report of work supported by Grant FA9550-12-1-0413 between the U.S. Air Force and the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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COMMITTEE ON U.S. AIR FORCE STRATEGIC DETERRENCE MILITARY CAPABILITIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY SECURITY ENVIRONMENT

GERALD F. PERRYMAN, JR., Independent Consultant, U.S. Air Force (retired), Co-Chair

ALLISON ASTORINO-COURTOIS, National Security Innovations, Inc., Co-Chair

JOHN F. AHEARNE, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

GERALD G. BROWN, Naval Postgraduate School

ALBERT CARNESALE, University of California, Los Angeles

W. PETER CHERRY, Independent Consultant

PAUL K. DAVIS, The RAND Corporation and Pardee RAND Graduate School

STEPHEN DOWNES-MARTIN, U.S. Naval War College

KATHLEEN L. KIERNAN, Kiernan Group Holdings, Inc.

RONALD F. LEHMAN II, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

JOHN A. MONTGOMERY, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

JERROLD M. POST, The George Washington University

BARRY SCHNEIDER, Air War College

STEPHEN G. WALKER, Arizona State University

MICHAEL O. WHEELER, Institute for Defense Analyses

Staff

TERRY J. JAGGERS, Director, Air Force Studies Board

CARTER W. FORD, Study Director

MARGUERITE E. SCHNEIDER, Administrative Coordinator

DIONNA C. ALI, Research Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD

GREGORY S. MARTIN, GS Martin Consulting, Chair

DONALD C. FRASER, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (retired), Vice Chair

BRIAN A. ARNOLD, Peachtree City, Georgia

ALLISON ASTORINO-COURTOIS, National Security Innovations, Inc.

CLAUDE M. BOLTON, JR., Defense Acquisition University

STEVEN R.J. BRUECK, University of New Mexico

THOMAS J. BURNS, Great Falls, Virginia

FRANK J. CAPPUCCIO, Cappuccio and Associates, LLC

BLAISE J. DURANTE, U.S. Air Force (retired)

BRENDAN B. GODFREY, University of Maryland at College Park

MICHAEL A. HAMEL, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

DANIEL E. HASTINGS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

RAYMOND E. JOHNS, FlightSafety International

PAUL G. KAMINSKI, Technovation, Inc.

ROBERT H. LATIFF, R. Latiff Associates

NANCY G. LEVESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MARK J. LEWIS, Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute

LESTER L. LYLES, The Lyles Group

ALEX MILLER, University of Tennessee

RICHARD V. REYNOLDS, The VanFleet Group, LLC

STARNES E. WALKER, University of Delaware

DEBORAH WESTPHAL, Toffler Associates

DAVID A. WHELAN, Boeing Defense, Space, and Security

REBECCA WINSTON, Winston Strategic Management Consulting

Staff

JOAN FULLER, Director (from October 20, 2014)

TERRY J. JAGGERS, Director (until October 17, 2014)

ALAN H. SHAW, Deputy Director

DIONNA C. ALI, Research Assistant

GREGORY EYRING, Senior Program Officer

CARTER W. FORD, Program Officer

CHRIS JONES, Financial Manager

MARGUERITE E. SCHNEIDER, Administrative Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Preface

In 2012, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Force and the Commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command, asked the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Air Force Studies Board (AFSB) to conduct a workshop on what Air Force strategic deterrence capabilities would be required for the 21st century security environment. The AFSB agreed and organized a workshop to frame the issues and construct the terms of reference (TOR; see Appendix A) for a follow-on study. A summary of the workshop was approved by the NRC and submitted to the Air Force co-sponsors in early 2013.1

TERMS OF REFERENCE

At the Air Force’s subsequent request, the NRC approved the terms of reference in March 2013.2 The chair of the NRC then appointed a committee of experts in June 2013 to conduct this follow-on study.3 The Committee on U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Military Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environ-

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1 NRC, 2013, U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment: A Workshop Summary, Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

2 The TOR are contained in Appendix A.

3 Appendix B provides biographies of the committee members. The committee includes experts with experience in academia, government, and industry—combined with many years in Air Force nuclear weapons capabilities, strategies, and postures; decision and game theory; behavior-based profiling; risk management; operations research; and modeling and simulation.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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ment met during 2013 and 2014 to gather and assess facts, discuss findings, and construct recommendations. The TOR include the following:

1. Identify the broad analytic issues and factors that must be considered in seeking nuclear deterrence of adversaries and assurance of allies in the 21st century.

2. Describe and assess tools, methods—including behavioral science-based methods—and approaches for improving the understanding of how nuclear deterrence and assurance work or may fail in the 21st century and the extent to which such failures might be averted or mitigated by the proper choice of nuclear systems, technological capabilities, postures, and concepts of operation of American nuclear forces.4

3. Discuss the implications for the Air Force and how it could best respond to these deterrence and assurance needs. Include in this discussion a framework for identifying the risks and benefits associated with different nuclear force postures, structures, levels, and concepts of operation.

4. Recommend criteria and a framework for validating the tools, methods, and approaches and for identifying those most promising for Air Force usage.

5. Recommend an appropriate mix of the classes of analytical tools affordable in today’s austere financial climate, and identify what can be planned for by the Air Force as future improvements to this mix if defense budgets increase or decrease.

WHAT THIS STUDY SEEKS TO DO AND HOW IT GOES ABOUT DOING IT

The TOR basically direct the committee to identify the broad issues and factors to be considered in seeking nuclear deterrence of adversaries and assurance of allies in the 21st century and to evaluate and recommend tools, methods, and approaches for (1) understanding nuclear deterrence and assurance in the new security environment and (2) sizing forces appropriate for deterrence and assurance. The sponsor amplified the TOR by asking the committee to answer the following specific questions in the context of deterring adversaries and assuring allies:

• What analytic capabilities are needed to evaluate Air Force concepts and assertions about Air Force capabilities requirements as strategy is developed in the 21st century security environment?

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4 The committee interpreted items 2 and 3 of the TOR to mean that it should describe and assess analytic tools, methods, and approaches that would help both (1) in improving and understanding deterrence and assurance and (2) understanding how nuclear forces, posture, technological capabilities, and concepts of operations can improve prospects or mitigate failures. The committee and the Air Force understood that the study was not going to make recommendations about force structure and the like.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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• How do we develop and validate future deterrence requirements and inject them into the joint requirements development process?

• What analytic capabilities can improve understanding of how nuclear deterrence and assurance work in the 21st century and how they might fail, and how might failure be averted by the proper choice of Air Force systems, technological capabilities, postures, and concepts of operation for American nuclear forces?

• Since what we believe about an adversary will change over time, can we develop systematic, integrated approaches to incorporate feedback, which would narrow the gap between beliefs about the adversary and knowledge about the adversary?

• How can we assist operational planners in matching Air Force capabilities, procedures, and actions to operational deterrence situations?

• How can we detect and evaluate adversary responses to deterrence actions?

The committee conducted its fact-finding and deliberations with those questions in mind.

While this study of deterrence and assurance has applicability to the U.S. Navy and its nuclear forces, the committee’s focus was on those forces that the Air Force is responsible for: primarily the strategic systems (intercontinental ballistic missiles [ICBMs] and long-range bombers and stand-off, air-launched missiles) but also dual-capable aircraft for theater operations.5

The committee grappled with a number of issues in deciding how to approach the study. First, it understood that to produce a result that is useful to the sponsors, the study’s recommendations should be cognizant of Air Force roles and authorities in the Department of Defense (DoD). As a military department, the U.S. Air Force has the legal authority to organize, train, and equip forces, which it then provides to joint combatant commands. The Air Force neither commands forces in peacetime or combat operations nor prepares operational plans for their use. The command and operational planning functions are done by functional or regional joint combatant commanders and their subordinate joint task forces, which, of course, does include Air Force personnel.6

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5 See Amy F. Woolf, 2013, U.S. Strategic Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues, Washington, D.C: Congressional Research Service, October 22 and Amy F. Woolf, 2012, Nonstrategic Nuclear Forces, Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, December 19.

6 The Air Force was established as a separate military department by the National Security Act of 1947, with its legal authorities (as were those of the Army and Navy) codified in Title X of the U.S. Code. This is what is meant when one finds the Air Force referred to as a “Title X organization.” The Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, also known as the Goldwater-Nichols Act, changed the mission of the military departments. Goldwaters-Nichols limited their authorities to organizing, training, and equipping forces, while assigning the responsibility for commanding and operational planning to the functional and regional COCOMs. The responsibilities and alignments of the COCOMs are specified

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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This creates a known tension. Combatant commands (COCOMs) develop operational plans with short horizons relative to procurement and training timelines. The Air Force time horizon is much longer than those of combatant commands. In balancing readiness and modernization, the Air Force must organize, train, and equip for today’s requirements (the current fight) and for the requirements not only of the next Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) but even for the “FYDP after next” (future contingencies). The question of what time horizon is appropriate for this study thus emerged as an important issue, which will be discussed further in this chapter.

The committee acquainted itself in broad terms with the process for establishing requirements in DoD. Prior to the reforms put in place by the Goldwater-Nichols legislation, the combatant commands had no formal role in the requirements process, nor did they have large supporting staffs that were expert in DoD’s elaborate Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) System. Goldwater-Nichols assigned leading roles in setting requirements for the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman and brought the joint combatant commanders into the process.

Today, requirements are set by a joint system supporting the Secretary of Defense, where the Air Force has a voice but does not make final decisions. The Air Force has a seat on the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC), which is chaired by the Vice Chairman of the JCS. 7 JROC is responsible for identifying, assessing, validating, and prioritizing joint military requirements, to include requirements for delivery systems but not for the nuclear stockpile. Stockpile requirements are addressed in the Nuclear Weapons Council (NWC), where the Air Force does not have a seat.8

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in the Unified Command Plan, which is prepared by the JCS Chairman, reviewed and updated every two years, and approved by the President. There currently are nine COCOMs: Special Operations Command, Strategic Command, Transportation Command, African Command, Central Command, European Command, Northern Command, Pacific Command, and Southern Command. See Andrew Feickert, 2013, The Unified Command Plan and Combatant Commands: Background and Issues for Congress, Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, January 3.

7 In addition to changing the relationship of the armed services to joint combatant commands, Goldwater-Nichols created the position of Vice Chairman of the JCS, strengthened the role of the JCS Chairman and the Joint Staff, and gave the combatant commanders an important role in the process for establishing requirements. Under the Goldwater-Nichols reforms, the JROC was created. JROC is chaired by the Vice Chairman of the JCS. The Air Force is represented on the JROC by the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff.

8 NWC is a joint DoD-National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) organization established to facilitate cooperation and coordination between the two Departments. Among other things, it addresses requirements for the nuclear stockpile. The NWC is chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD/AT&L). Members are the Vice Chairman of the JCS, the NNSA Administrator, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and the Commander of STRATCOM. The NWC is supported by the Nuclear Weapons Council Standing and Safety Committee, where the Air Force does have a seat at the table.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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In this complicated requirements system, the Air Force may seek to advance the understanding of the requirements for deterrence and assurance, but it does so primarily within the processes, assumptions, and lexicon of the joint force, and in a system where it does not have the final decision authority.

Of special importance to the committee’s work was to gain an understanding of the role and perspectives of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM). The committee reviewed STRATCOM documents (especially the Deterrence Operations Joint Operating Concept), received briefings from and interacted with STRATCOM staff, and devoted one of its fact-finding visits to STRATCOM headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base (AFB) in Omaha, Nebraska. The committee also acquainted itself with the views of STRATCOM’s senior leadership.9 Those have been taken into account in this report.

There are other major factors that were especially important to the committee’s deliberations. One was the attempt in DoD to shift its force planning framework away from platform-centric thinking (the ICBM and the long-range bomber are delivery platforms) to a capability-based approach (where a capability is defined, in joint parlance, as “the ability to achieve a desired effect under specified standards and conditions through a combination of means and ways across the DOTMLPF (Doctrine, Organization, Training, Leadership, Materiel, Personnel, Facilities).”10 DoD has developed an elaborate Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) to support JROC. This establishes the framework and processes the Air Force must work within in DoD.

The committee found that, while thinking in terms of capabilities and effects, it is highly conducive to deterrence analysis (as will be discussed in subsequent chapters), constructing and defending a deterrence-related program within DoD, and successfully advocating the program to the White House and, ultimately, to the Congress, cannot be done simply by discussing capabilities and effects but must focus on platforms, e.g., the next generation bomber, ICBM, and SSBN. While it is currently U.S. policy to retain a traditional triad of strategic nuclear forces (which, for the Air Force, means retaining the ICBM and the long-range bomber) and to retain the Air Force dual-capable aircraft, it is unclear whether that will remain the case as arms control proceeds, budgets shrink, and hard choices must be made between force readiness and force modernization. There already have been advocates for eliminating the ICBM force and/or the nuclear-armed bombers and nuclear-

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9 Those views are readily available in statements prepared for testimony to Congress. Of special relevance were General Kehler’s posture statement to the Armed Services Committees in March 2013 and his statement to the House Armed Services Committee Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing on nuclear weapons modernization programs in October 2013, General Kehler relinquished command of STRATCOM to Admiral Haney on November 15, 2013.

10 See http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/af_a3_5/publication/afpd10-6/afpd10-6.pdf. Accessed November 21, 2014.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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capable fighters and cancelling the Navy’s SSBN-X as cost-saving measures. While the committee does not take a stand on such issues, it does acknowledge the debate as part of the unfolding security environment, which underlines the importance of providing the sponsors with the best possible tools, methods, and approaches for conducting sound deterrence analysis.

There are other considerations that were important factors in conducting this study, five of which deserve highlighting: (1) the meaning of strategic (as opposed to nuclear) deterrence; (2) the increasing importance of deterrence in regional settings; (3) nonstate actors; (4) the distinction between delivery systems and the nuclear weapons themselves, and (5) the possibility of changed circumstances, both positive and negative.

Like the workshop that preceded it, the committee spent considerable time discussing the fact that nuclear deterrence is not synonymous with strategic deterrence. There is a tension in these two concepts of deterrence, which is acknowledged and concisely expressed but not resolved in a white paper signed by senior Air Force civilian and military leadership on the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise and issued while this study was ongoing. Two passages from the white paper illustrate the tension:

Nuclear weapons are not an anachronism of the Cold War but some concepts are outdated; the Nation requires fresh thinking to meet the deterrence challenges of today’s strategic environment. Deterrence in the twenty-first century demands credible, flexible nuclear capabilities, linked to comprehensive strategies and matched to the modern strategic environment.

Nuclear deterrence operations do not occur in a vacuum. All Air Force capabilities, including space, cyber, and conventional capabilities play a role in effective deterrence and provide options for decision makers. Airmen must understand the interactions of these capabilities and how to integrate them to achieve the desired deterrent effects (emphasis added).11

The white paper is silent on who is responsible for ensuring that airmen understand the interactions of these effects. That assurance appears to be a responsibility shared among a number of Air Force organizations, but with no common framework. That is true not only for the Air Force, but for DoD in general.

There does appear to be agreement within DoD and within the Air Force that strategic deterrence is cross-domain deterrence. This is emphasized in the STRATCOM documents the committee reviewed and in STRATCOM presentations. It is beyond the scope of this present study to provide a new analytic framework for cross-domain deterrence. It is reasonable to expect that the tools, methods, and approaches that this study addresses may help advance the analytic agenda for

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11 Air Force Headquarters, 2013, Flight Plan for the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise, Washington, D.C., June 26.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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understanding cross-domain deterrence, even though they focus first and foremost on understanding how the nuclear dimension of deterrence is evolving.

Second, one of the major shifts in priority in U.S. deterrence thinking occurring over the years since the Cold War ended is reflected in the increased attention paid to nuclear weapons states in regional settings, and to ways not only to deter such states but also to assure their neighbors, (many of whom are U.S. allies, that they do not need nuclear weapons to protect their interests against regional aggressors. This study places an emphasis on how the concept of tailored deterrence is evolving,12 the different mindsets of regional aggressors, controlling escalation in regional crises, the growing importance of missile defenses, and new dynamics for a concept that in the Cold War was called extended deterrence (which then was especially prominent for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO]) and now is referred to in policy documents as assurance. Planning for assurance is a major feature of the evolving security environment.13

Third, even before al-Qaeda launched its attack on September 11, 2001 (known to history as 9/11), U.S. policy makers were aware of the possibility that nonstate terrorists might acquire nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and use them against the United States, its allies, or other nations. This nuclear concern was intensified exponentially after 9/11. Countering nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation were elevated in priority in U.S. policy, eclipsing (many would argue) the traditional nuclear deterrence missions. The committee is aware of this fact and devoted attention to understanding deterrent requirements related to counterterrorism and nonproliferation planning.

The committee did not try to probe deeply into the nuclear weapons side of the equation. That would have required special clearances and a work schedule beyond the charter of the study. However, the committee was briefed on current plans. Today’s U.S. nuclear stockpile consists of two nuclear weapons types for submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), two others for ICBMs, and three (with multiple modifications) for airborne platforms.14 The NWC, the senior body synchronizing requirements for nuclear weapons, has approved a “3+2 Strategy,” which is the “long-term strategy to move toward a stockpile consisting of only three interoperable ballistic missile warheads deployed on both the SLBM and ICBM

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12 See M. Elaine Bunn, 2007, Can Deterrence Be Tailored?, Washington, D.C., Institute for National Security Studies, National Defense University, January.

13 The committee devoted much of its fact-finding to the regional dimension, reviewing literature, and receiving briefings from experts. It did not, however, have an opportunity to visit the regional combatant commands (as it did STRATCOM) to gain their perspectives on deterrence in regional settings.

14 The current U.S. nuclear stockpile includes the W76 and W88 warheads for SLBMs, theW78 and W87 warheads for ICBMs, the B61 and B83 bombs, and the W80 warhead for air-launched cruise missiles.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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legs of the triad and two air delivered warheads, (1) a gravity bomb deployable on both bombers and tactical aircraft” and (2) a warhead for a long-range stand-off (LRSO) capability ultimately to replace the air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs).15 Whether this strategy can be sustained with adequate funding over the long term remains to be seen.

Fourth, while this committee addressed tools, methods, and approaches appropriate to sizing the delivery systems, it did not extend its discussions to whether the same tools, methods, and approaches provide an analytically sound basis for determining the appropriate stockpile size and mix. Fifth and last, the committee understands that over the planned lifetime of U.S. Air Force and Navy nuclear delivery platforms and weapons, both continuity and change will be significant. Planning for continuity must also provide flexibility and options to respond to change, both geostrategic and technological, which could be very sudden and dramatic in the years ahead.

It was our great pleasure to work with the extremely dedicated and professional members of the committee during this study. We would like to single out committee members Michael Wheeler, Paul Davis, Stephen Walker, W. Peter Cherry, and Jerrold Post for their outstanding contributions as chapter leads. It is our hope that this report provides a useful service to DoD and the nation.

Gerald F. Perryman, Jr., Co-Chair            
Allison Astorino-Courtois, Co-Chair      
Committee on U.S. Air Force Strategic   
Deterrence Military Capabilities in the
21st Century Security Environment     

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15 See B61 Life Extension Program and Future Stockpile Strategy, House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Armed Services, testimony of Donald L. Cook, Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, NNSA, October 30, and 2013. Those hearings addressed the increasingly costly B61 life extension program and its place in the future stockpile strategy.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Kevin P. Chilton, U.S. Air Force (retired),

Raymond Jeanloz, University of California, Berkeley,

Michael E. Kassner, University of Southern California,

Brad Roberts, Stanford University,

C. Paul Robinson, Sandia National Laboratories (emeritus),

James Scouras, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory,

Alan Washburn, Naval Postgraduate School, and

Larry D. Welch, Institute for Defense Analyses (emeritus).

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Stephen M. Robinson, University of Wisconsin,

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Madison. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Acronyms

AFB

Air Force Base

AFGSC

Air Force Global Strike Command

AFSB

Air Force Studies Board

ALCM

air-launched cruise missile

BMD

ballistic missile defense

CAS

complex adaptive systems

COCOM

combatant command

CTBT

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

DAAP

deterrence and assurance analysis program

DARPA

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

DoD

Department of Defense

DOTMLPF

Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, and Facilities

DSB

Defense Science Board

FYDP

Future Years Defense Program

IAEA

International Atomic Energy Agency

ICBM

intercontinental ballistic missile

IT

information technology

Page xxii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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JCIDS

Joint Capabilities Integration Development System

JCS

Joint Chiefs of Staff

JROC

Joint Requirements Oversight Council

LEP

Life Extension Program

LRSO

Long-Range Standoff (Missile)

MIRV

multiple independently retargetable reentry vehicle

MM

Minuteman missile

NATO

North American Treaty Organization

NNSA

National Nuclear Security Administration

NPR

Nuclear Posture Review

NPT

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

NRC

National Research Council

NSA

National Security Agency

NSC

National Security Council

NWC

Nuclear Weapons Council

OSD

Office of the Secretary of Defense

PPBE

planning, programming, budgeting, and execution

RSAS

RAND Strategy Assessment System

SAC

Strategic Air Command

SALT

Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty

SLBM

submarine-launched ballistic missile

SNA

social network analysis

START

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

STRATCOM

Strategic Command

TOR

terms of reference

UN

United Nations

USD/AT&L

Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics)

WMD

weapons of mass destruction

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18622.
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Since the early 1960s, the U.S. strategic nuclear posture has been composed of a triad of nuclear-certified long-range bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Since the early 1970s, U.S. nuclear forces have been subject to strategic arms control agreements. The large numbers and diversified nature of the U.S. nonstrategic (tactical) nuclear forces, which cannot be ignored as part of the overall nuclear deterrent, have decreased substantially since the Cold War. While there is domestic consensus today on the need to maintain an effective deterrent, there is no consensus on precisely what that requires, especially in a changing geopolitical environment and with continued reductions in nuclear arms. This places a premium on having the best possible analytic tools, methods, and approaches for understanding how nuclear deterrence and assurance work, how they might fail, and how failure can be averted by U.S. nuclear forces.

U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities identifies the broad analytic issues and factors that must be considered in seeking nuclear deterrence of adversaries and assurance of allies in the 21st century. This report describes and assesses tools, methods - including behavioral science-based methods - and approaches for improving the understanding of how nuclear deterrence and assurance work or may fail in the 21st century and the extent to which such failures might be averted or mitigated by the proper choice of nuclear systems, technological capabilities, postures, and concepts of operation of American nuclear forces. The report recommends criteria and a framework for validating the tools, methods, and approaches and for identifying those most promising for Air Force usage.

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