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Project Title:

U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Military Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment
PIN: DEPS-AFSB-13-01        

Major Unit:

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Sub Unit: DEPS Air Force Studies Board

RSO: Ford, Carter

Subject/Focus Area: National Security and Defense

Project Scope
Mindful of the different classes of adversaries in the 21st Century and recent U.S. policy statements regarding the Triad and the strategy for employing U.S. nuclear forces, an ad hoc committee will:

1. Identify the broad analytic issues and factors that must be considered in seeking nuclear deterrence of adversaries and assurance of allies in the 21st Century.

2. Describe and assess tools, methods--including behavioral science-based methods—and approaches for improving the understanding of how nuclear deterrence and assurance work or may fail in the 21st Century and the extent to which such failures might be averted or mitigated by the proper choice of nuclear systems, technological capabilities, postures, and concepts of operation of American nuclear forces.

3. Discuss the implications for the Air Force and how it could best respond to these deterrence and assurance needs. Include in this discussion a framework for identifying the risks and benefits associated with different nuclear force postures, structures, levels, and concepts of operation.

4. Recommend criteria and a framework for validating the tools, methods, and approaches; and for identifying those most promising for Air Force usage.

5. Recommend an appropriate mix of the classes of analytical tools affordable in today's austere financial climate, and identify what can be planned for by the Air Force as future improvements to this mix if and should defense budgets increase or decrease.

The approximate start date is June 17, 2013.
The project is sponsored by the Department of the Air Force.
A report will be produced at the conclusion of the project.

Note (09-13-2013): The Project Scope has been updated to make the committee’s charge more specific and clear. The updated version is shown above.

Project Duration: 12 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 06/18/2013
 Meeting 2 - 06/26/2013
 Meeting 3 - 09/17/2013
 Meeting 4 - 10/08/2013
 Meeting 5 - 11/19/2013
 Meeting 6 - 12/17/2013
 Meeting 7 - 01/13/2014


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Analytic Capabilities: An Assessment of Tools, Methods, and Approaches for the 21st Century Security Environment