White Paper on: Terrorism, Deterrence, and Nuclear Weapons   [open pdf - 308KB]

"The Combating Terrorism Center produced this paper at the request of the Secretary of Defense Task Force on DoD Nuclear Weapons Management. The task Force asked the Combating Terrorism Center and the Department of Social Sciences at United Stated Military Academy to consider the concept of deterrence within the context of two questions: 1) how jihadists and terrorists can be deterred? and 2) what role might nuclear weapons and capabilities play in that particular domain of defense? The first section of the paper addresses the deterrence of terrorism, sorting through the various arguments for and against the applicability of deterrence to terrorism. [...]. The second section of the paper examines the objects of a deterrence strategy: non-state and state-sponsored terrorist organizations possessing global reach. [...]. The final section of the paper addresses the use of nuclear weapons as part of a deterrent strategy. While the report finds that certain types of terrorists can be deterred from certain types of attacks, it is less optimistic about the use of nuclear weapons in a terrorist deterrent strategy."

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Combating Terrorism Center at West Point: http://www.ctc.usma.edu/
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