Nuclear Weapons and National Strategies

Course #NS3280

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


This course surveys the history of nuclear weapons policies both in the United States and internationally, focusing in particular on comparative national strategies. It considers requirements for deterrence, incentives for arms control and nonproliferation policies, and new challenges posed by nuclear proliferation. PREREQUISITE: None.

Included in degrees & certificates

  • 738

Learning Outcomes

Overall, the core course objective is to enable students to build understanding of the dynamic role of nuclear weapons in contemporary geopolitics at a systemic level, and to appreciate the full context of ongoing debates over future policy directions both in the United States and globally.  Specifically, this includes abilities to:

·       Articulate the rationale for the development and continuing U.S. possession of nuclear weapons, and the role of nuclear deterrence in U.S. foreign policy.

·       Describe the major debates informing the evolution of U.S. strategic policy from the beginning of the nuclear age.

·       Explain current U.S. nuclear policy and how it is implemented.

·       Understand basic nuclear weapons design and weapons effects.

·       Recognize the arguments found in alternative perspectives toward nuclear weapons, including advocacy of nuclear disarmament.

·       Assess the roles and value of nuclear weapons to other current nuclear-armed states and nuclear weapons aspirants.

·       Evaluate implications of the postures of other nuclear powers for U.S. deterrence strategies.

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Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

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