"During the Cold War, strategic capabilities were synonymous with nuclear capabilities, and US strategic planning focused on nuclear deterrence and response against a single adversary. Today, more potential enemies are developing asymmetric capabilities to inhibit or prevent U.S. military intervention in regional conflicts-in short, to wage strategic warfare by implicitly or explicitly threatening high-value political, military, or economic targets with weapons of mass destruction and disruption. U.S. security over the next several decades will depend increasingly on the ability to deter and respond effectively to strategic regional conflicts with significant escalation potential. The Department of Defense faces the task of ensuring that a comprehensive set of responses is developed for the National Command Authorities and is incorporated into planning before a conflict begins. To meet this challenge, the defense establishment should analyze requirements for deterring and combating strategic warfare in regional conflicts, identify shortcomings in plans and capabilities, and develop solutions. Providing a broad mix of military options could require changes in operational concepts, contingency planning, training, and resource allocation. The effort will require significant input from all the relevant commands and force providers, as well as the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, services, and other agencies."
Strategic Forum No.183