Thesis Title

Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Options For the Twenty-First Century


Steven Conyne

Date of Graduation

Summer 2002


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


Nuclear weapons will continue to form an essential element in the defense of the United States and its interests for the foreseeable future. In the past, U.S. tactical neclear weapons have provided a variety of unique capabilities, both on the battlefield and for deterraence. As the United States shifts from a military designed for the Cold War, a new g3enerations of tactical nuclear weapons may provide the and flecibility in a world where the proliferation of weapns of mass destruction (WMD) continues. Moover, as the political will to use strategic nuclear weapons would impove deterrence against the growing threat posed by WMD, especially in regard to exteneded deterrence protecting deployed U.S. force or AMerican allies. Such forces also would be suited to counter attempts at deterrence by regional poweres via their own WMD. Should desterrence fail, tthese wapons could enchance the capabilites of smaller. lighter conventional forces or subsitute for them in a scenario where large numbers of U.S. forces have not arrived in the area of operationss or where their use would be preferable to large force deployments and the risk of many casualties.


© Steven Conyne