Nuclear Deterrence

Resources are provided for informational purposes only. Inclusion on this list does not imply or confer endorsement by Partnership for a Secure America, PSA’s staff, Board of Directors, or Advisory Board.


Brodie, Bernard. The Absolute Weapon: Atomic Power and World Order. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1946.

Bernard Brodie’s details the world’s reaction to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Kissinger, Henry. Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy. Harper & Brothers, 1957.

Kissinger argues that the only way to avoid a larger nuclear conflict is through the use of smaller nuclear weapons as a deterrent.


Morgan, Patrick M. “The State of Deterrence in International Politics Today.” Contemporary Security Policy 33, no. 1 (2012): 85-107.

Patrick Morgan describes how nuclear deterrence theory has changed over time and how it can be applied to U.S. foreign policy decisions in the twenty-first century.


Schelling, Thomas C., and Morton H. Halperin. Strategy and Arms Control. Twentieth Century Fund, 1961.

Schelling and Halperin combine game theory simulations and hypothetical nuclear situations to show how actors would respond to various scenarios. Their thinking informed the foreign policy decisions of both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations in the early 1960s.


Sokolovsky, Marshal V.D. Military Strategy: Soviet Doctrine and Concepts. Frederick A. Praeger, 1963.

Following its publication in the West, Sokolovsky’s book provided experts with a rare glimpse into Soviet thinking on nuclear deterrence.


Wilson, Ward. “The Myth of Nuclear Deterrence.” Nonproliferation Review 15, no. 3 (November 2008): 421-39

Wilson calls into question the basic assumptions underlying deterrence, arguing that “…a review of the practical record of nuclear deterrence shows more obvious failures than obvious successes.”


Wohlstetter, Albert. “The Delicate Balance of Terror.” November 6, 1958.

Wohlstetter argues that since only small-scale nuclear weapons should be used in a counter attack, the U.S. should scale back its production of high yield warheads in favor of weapons with a smaller payload.


Resources are provided for informational purposes only. Inclusion on this list does not imply or confer endorsement by Partnership for a Secure America, PSA’s staff, Board of Directors, or Advisory Board.