Cover: Nuclear weapons and limited war

Nuclear weapons and limited war

Published 1959

by Thomas C. Schelling

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback2 pages $20.00

Part of a broader investigation on the objectives of the general and limited war forces of the United States and on the relationship of these objectives to force composition. This study examines one kind of conflict situation, that of limited war. The nature and meaning of "limit" in war is investigated, with emphasis on the limit inherent in distinguishing between conventional and nuclear weapons. It is argued that this limit is derived not so much from physics as from psychology. How do limits evolve in limited war? What makes them stable or unstable? What gives such limits authority? What circumstances and models of behavior lead to the creation and mutual recognition of limits by parties to a conflict? These questions are considered as a prelude to discussing the use of nuclear weapons in limited wars.

This report is part of the RAND research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.