Charles Glaser and Steve Fetter argue that the United States should not pursue a nuclear damage-limitation capability against China: U.S. nuclear superiority is impossible to maintain beyond the short term, and its pursuit will provide few benefits while incurring serious costs.1 In an extended arms race, however, we argue that U.S. damage-limitation capabilities are far more technically plausible than Glaser and Fetter conclude. Further, damage limitation capabilities can make a vital contribution to U.S. strategy.

Glaser and Fetter argue that various countermeasures can thwart U.S. surveillance systems relevant to hunting mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) (pp. 68–70). They further argue that China can thwart attacks on its command and control (C2) by dispersing it to mobile platforms, pre-delegating launch authority, and adopting a launch-on-warning posture (pp. 73–74).

truncated analysis. Glaser and Fetter conclude their analysis without extending the measure-countermeasure competition very far. In so doing, they fall prey...

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