The U.S. should focus its own conventional posture on the goal of denying Russia and China the ability to conduct rapid military campaigns that revise the territorial status quo. In coordination with allies, the U.S. should prioritize intelligence assets, forward deployment of munitions and equipment, and investment in weapons systems such as nuclear-powered attack submarines and penetrating bombers that have the best chance of surviving a fight with a highly capable adversary. Even in the presence of large nuclear arsenals, these conventional capabilities will remain vital to keeping the peace against opponents who may otherwise believe that nuclear weapons give them cover for aggression.
The U.S. nuclear arsenal remains the ultimate backstop of its alliance commitments. Distasteful as it is to contemplate, having the ability to threaten limited nuclear attacks, particularly against military targets, remains important for deterring Russia and China, both of which are readily deploying such weapons. The key is to signal prior to any war both that the U.S. has no desire to initiate conflict and that threats of nuclear escalation won’t force the U.S. to back down. The presence of the American arsenal can also help reassure allies that the U.S. will defend them, making them less likely to seek nuclear weapons of their own.
- The kind of aggression that Putin has launched on Ukraine is outrageous and must be condemned and opposed by every other nation in the world, and the heroic self-defense efforts of Ukraine must be supported by all nations;
- It is obvious that military actions of all kinds have no positive benefits, and must be denounced now, and eliminated in the future;
- It is clear, since military actions don't work to keep the peace, or bring prosperity, that we need to disarm the nations of the world, and that we specifically need to eliminate nuclear weapons;
- New international ways to combat aggression must be developed, and some of the innovative ways that non-military efforts are combating what Russia has done with its invasion of Ukraine are hopeful experiments, and that these and other efforts must be increased;
- The United States will lead the way towards nuclear disarmament, and to ultimately military disarmament, using the United Nations, and not proprietary military alliances like NATO, as the forum in which these efforts will be advanced.