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Realism must drive nuclear policy

To successfully maintain the relative peace the United States has enjoyed for decades, we must consider what would convince adversaries that we would make them regret attacking a vital interest. Deterrence is an art, not a science, and it takes a clear eyed assessment of a variety of factors that will be varied from the leaders of one country to the next. An ideological objection to nuclear weapons themselves and an idealistic policy agenda could result in actions that tempt a nuclear exchange.

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