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PSCI 281 - Nuclear Weapons.pdf

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Political Science
PSCI 281
Veronica Kitchen

Handout – Nuclear Weapons PSCI 281 Key Questions How do nuclear weapons keep peace? What is the state of the non-proliferation regime? How do we think about the nuclear crisis with Iran? Key Concepts Mutually Assured Destruction: a nuclear weapons doctrine based on mutual vulnerability. Each side in the conflict is protected so long as each is equally vulnerable. In a nuclear confrontation, both sides would strike, and therefore both would be destroyed. Second Strike Capability: the capacity to survive a nuclear attack and respond to it. MAD does not function if both sides do not have second strike capability. Deterrence: MAD creates deterrence; there is no incentive to strike. Deterrence rests on 3 Cs: capability, credibility, communication. Massive Retaliation: nuclear strategy based on massive nuclear response to any threat, conventional or nuclear Fle
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