Rethinking Nuclear Threats in Conventional Warfare

Today the US faces heightened potential for an enemy to engage nuclear deterrence in a conventional conflict, according to Professors Daryl Press, and Keir Lieber, speaking to attendees at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. With US success in past conventional engagements from Panama and the Persian Gulf, to Afghanistan, nuclear deterrence is becoming an increasingly rational calculation for embattled nuclear regimes intent on staying in power. In light of current nuclear proliferation, “we’re already in the world in which the next conventional war the [Air Force] might be asked to fight, might already be the war of trying to limit nuclear escalation against a nuclear weapons state,” asserted Press.