Congressional Panel Discussion - November 17, 2008

Deterrence: Past, Present, & Future

Trident Nuclear Missile explodes in ocean


Austin Long, RAND Corporation
Jeffrey Lewis, New America Foundation
David Mosher, RAND Corporation


David Ochmanek
RAND Corporation


Monday, November 17, 2008


11:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m.
Light refreshments will be provided


210 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

About the Program

As we transition towards a new administration with new and unique challenges the issue of deterrence, specifically nuclear deterrence, is certain to be one of the topics of discussion. The nature of the challenges posed by nuclear-armed adversaries has changed significantly since the end of the Cold War and the prospect is for continued change should countries such as North Korea and Iran succeed in acquiring deliverable nuclear arsenals. In light of these shifts, traditional approaches to preventing nuclear use will be found wanting: New approaches are called for and with them will come the need for new military capabilities and postures. This panel will explore several issues at the heart of this dynamic set of challenges. These include:  

  • Enduring roles for nuclear weapons and future needs for nuclear deterrence
  • The desirability and feasibility of a transition to zero nuclear weapons
  • Deterrence of non-state actors
  • Challenges posed by nuclear-armed regional adversaries
  • Options for a new round of arms control with Russia
  • Conventional forces and deterrence
  • Deterrence and constrained Defense budgets

RAND Office of Congressional Relations

For 60 years, RAND has provided policymakers with independent, objective research and analysis on key national security, domestic and international issues. RAND work helps members of Congress and their staffs make better-informed decisions on the nation's pressing challenges. The Office of Congressional Relations offers a number of products and services to educate, inform, and facilitate congressional policymakers' access to RAND work, including coordinating congressional testimony by RAND experts, organizing briefings and meetings, synthesizing RAND work into topical e-newsletters and providing reports and publications to congressional offices. For more information, visit the Office of Congressional Relations webpage, contact or call (703) 413-1100 x5395.

Further Inquiries

For further information about this event, contact the Office of Congressional Relations at or call (703) 413-1100 x5395.