Since the dawn of the nuclear age, three distinct approaches to nuclear strategy – disarmament, denial, and deterrence – have waxed and waned in importance as guides to US doctrine and policy.[1] Although champions of each of these approaches sometimes defend their position as if it represented the one true religion, each of these strategies can be more or less effective and appropriate depending on the circumstances. As David A. Cooper suggests, changes in the strategic setting can vector US policymakers towards one of these strategies, despite the fact that the other two competing approaches never really fall completely outside the realm of policy debate or plausibility.

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