Dr. Christopher Ashley Ford
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
2019 Deterrence and Assurance Workshop and Conference
University of Nebraska at Omaha, NE
March 8, 2019
Good day, and thank you for inviting me.
This is a conference on deterrence, and I am glad to see so many bright people coming together in order to explore its challenges. Deterring large-scale aggression against the United States and its allies has always been the core function of our armed services, and this is no less true for our nuclear forces. But in this nuclear age, doing deterrence right presents special risks and challenges.
It is critical to ensure that a potential adversary sees no viable path to getting his way by force, certainly. At the same time, however, the potential costs of getting things wrong could be so catastrophically high that it is also very important to be continually aware of the sometimes-overlooked stability dynamics of nuclear posture choices.