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Nuclear Strategy in the Modern EraRegional Powers and International Conflict$
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Vipin Narang

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159829

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159829.001.0001

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The Sources of Regional Power Nuclear Postures: Posture Optimization Theory

The Sources of Regional Power Nuclear Postures: Posture Optimization Theory

(p.13) Chapter Two The Sources of Regional Power Nuclear Postures: Posture Optimization Theory
Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era

Vipin Narang

Princeton University Press

This chapter identifies three main types of regional power nuclear postures, arrayed across a spectrum of capabilities and deployment procedures. This theory, the Posture Optimization Theory, explains why the existing regional nuclear powers have adopted the nuclear postures and strategies they have, and generates testable predictions about what type of nuclear posture future regional nuclear powers might adopt based on a set of readily observable variables. Because of the dearth of regional states that have acquired nuclear weapons, this exercise has inherent limitations. However, by testing the framework against the existing empirical record, we can determine whether it provides a plausible framework with which to explain the choices of existing regional powers and to predict the choices that future nuclear powers might make.

Keywords:   regional power, Posture Optimization Theory, regional nuclear powers, future nuclear powers, optimization theory

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