"Deterrence can be a technique, a doctrine and a state of Mind. In all cases it is about setting boundaries for actions and establishing the risks associated with the crossing of those boundaries." Lawrence Freedman, Deterrence, Policy Press, 2004
Air University is well-engaged in teaching, researching and collaborating on today's deterrence issues. This university has a extremely skilled staff of experts that provide education and research on a wide range of deterrence-related subjects.
The US nuclear weapons enterprise—its history, scientists, technology, and culture—has been examined and interpreted by many historians as well as sociologists, anthropologists, science and technology studies experts, and communications studies specialists. Some of this scholarship is well regarded in academic circles; in addition, a couple of well-researched and well-written trade histories of nuclear weapons have received international recognition. Yet within this body of scholarship only a minority of studies, particularly in the sociological and anthropological fields, delve into nuclear weapons knowledge and expertise.
A review deterrence-related subjects is necessary for a better-informed public debate on the role of nuclear weapons and deterrence in general, especially as a serious reconsideration of current US nuclear policy is under way. Some new government-sponsored and other openly published materials have become available in the past few years to complement the small amount of academic literature, which together may begin to address the questions we ask about deterrence.
President Obama’s commitment to a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent, while at the same time, reduce the U.S. government’s reliance on nuclear weapons, continues to draw heated debate as to where the future of the U.S. nuclear enterprise will lead. The Air Force will engage both advocates and critics of strategic deterrence policy with critical debate and commentaries on the contemporary issues being addressed in the public sphere.
In this issue is an article on "China's Nuclear Threat Perceptions by Susan Turn Haynes.