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The thesis of this report is that nuclear-armed states in conflict will increasingly have both the incentives and the means for attacking an enemy's sources of power without resorting to nuclear weapons. That thesis is developed by examining trends in the destructiveness of current nuclear arsenals, the vulnerabilities of modern societies, the pace of warfare, and the available technologies for nonnuclear weaponry. Separate chapters address the technical feasibility, the military significance and utility, and the policy implications of nonnuclear weapons as replacements for nuclear weapons in pursuit of most strategic objectives in a conflict. The author finds that even contemplating strategic conflicts without nuclear weapons is an effective way to expose weaknesses and lapses in current arms control and alliance policies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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