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Nuclear posture, command and control

Nuclear posture, command and control

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Published by kabud
The research paper touches intriguing aspects of nuclear strategy : posture, command, control, vulnerabilities, etc
The research paper touches intriguing aspects of nuclear strategy : posture, command, control, vulnerabilities, etc

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: kabud on Jun 23, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The civil-military relations play an important role in the nuclear command and
control system of a country as it determines the disposition of the system by defining as
delegative or assertive control. In the United States, civil-military relations have been
healthy with a professional military which has remained subordinated to civilian control.
However, it does not imply that the United States was bereft of civil-military conflicts
over the control of nuclear operations.158 There was a continuous rift over the control
issues of nuclear operations where the civilians preferred assertive control and the
military wanted delegative control. Despite a pronounced preference for assertive control,
however, civilian leaders have actually tolerated a relatively high degree of delegation in
the nuclear command and control system, to make the system more survivable or the
deterrent more credible.159 It was presumed that the delegative control was necessary for
a decapitative strike by the Soviets. In some aspects, the United States tolerated more
delegative control than the Soviet Union did, even given comparable strategic
situations.160 During the Cold War, the SLBM capable submarines were deployed
without PALs and they remained an extreme example of delegative control. However, the
NPR 2001 eliminates Peacekeeper ICBMs, removes 4 Trident SSBNs from strategic

157 Yarynich, Nuclear Command, 182.
158 Feaver, Guarding the Guardians.
159 Peter D. Feaver, “Command and Control in Emerging Nuclear Nations,” International Security 17

vol.3 (Winter 1992/93), 175
160 Ibid


service, and downloads weapons from Trident SLBMs, Minuteman III ICBMs, and B-
52H and B-2 bombers.161 These reductions and downloading of weapons pave a new
path for assertive control post Cold War.

The strategic threat to India does not warrant a delegative control and an assertive
control should support the requirements from a strategic perspective.

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