Nuclear Weapons and Strategic Deterrence
Jun 20 20232 days, 08:30 AM EDT - 04:30 PM EDT
- $1,690.00 excl.
This two-day course will provide a broad introduction to the technology and operations of nuclear weapons and concepts of strategic deterrence. It makes use of unclassified and declassified source material to help you understand the environment of nuclear weapons of today. You will learn how nuclear weapons work, how they are operated, and the effects they can create. You will also learn about nuclear war planning, employment policies, strategic exercises, and treaties. Case studies will provide critical context for examining how theories of nuclear threats and use play out in the real world.
The focus will be on US nuclear weapon systems and deterrence design but will include contrasting review of relevant Soviet/Russian systems and perspectives. The nuclear systems of the other nuclear weapon states will be covered as well. The course concludes with an examination of current trends and headlines.
- Physics of nuclear weapons - the basics of fission and fusion processes, weapon effects
- Nuclear weapon systems and system architectures– missiles, planes, submarines, and command and control
- Nuclear Weapon Employment Policy – presidential directives, nuclear posture reviews, legal considerations
- Nuclear warfighting – using nuclear weapons, targeting and war planning
- Deterrence Theory – basic principles, ‘how much is enough?’, ‘countervalue vs counterforce’ targeting
- Treaties and Arms Control – the role of treaties in regulating and constraining nuclear weapons, treaty compliance, mutual defense treaties and extended deterrence
- Case studies in deterrence and nuclear use, e.g., Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Cuban Missile Crisis
- Emerging trends – new Russian weapon designs, China’s ‘strategic breakout’, role of nuclear weapons in recent conflicts
What You Will Learn:
- Fundamentals of nuclear weapons physics
- The technology of nuclear weapons systems to include missiles, bombs, delivery platforms, and command and control
- Nuclear weapon employment
- Principles of deterrence and their application
- The role of treaties in shaping deterrence
- How nuclear weapons have been used to support deterrence objectives since World War II
- Emerging nuclear weapon systems, current events, and future trends
Dr. Jonathan C. Bierce is the Chief Analyst for the Sea Control Mission Area of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, focusing on undersea warfare (USW). Since 2001, Dr. Bierce’s span of work includes engineering research and development, tactical analyses, and the technology, operations, and analytics of deterrence. He served as a Special Government Employee with USW expertise in support of the Defense Science Board. A submarine officer prior to joining the Laboratory, he has experience in theater intelligence operations. Dr. Bierce holds a BS in Physics from MIT, an MS in Applied Physics from the Johns Hopkins University, an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University, and a DEng from the George Washington University. He is a member of US Strategic Command’s Academic Alliance.
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