When it comes to deterrence, outmoded Cold War logic continues to dominate the thinking of U.S. strategic planners--no matter that the threats posed by that conflict ended nearly 20 years ago. But in a new world with new security challenges, Washington must think anew about deterrence, appropriately reshaping its nuclear arsenal in the process.
Instead of pursuing a new nuclear warhead, President-elect Barack Obama and his advisers should take a deep breath and thoughtfully reconsider the country's nuclear posture.
Some within the U.S. government believe that the country's nuclear warheads aren't reliable enough. But in matters of deterrence, the most important thing is what Washington’s adversaries believe.