National Security Report
What if North Korea were to actually use one or more nuclear weapons? How should the United States respond? The singularly important US prewar objective is to deter nuclear war, but once nuclear weapons have been unleashed, this objective will immediately become moot. US post-nuclear-attack imperatives will likely include (1) physically preventing further use of nuclear weapons by North Korea; (2) cognitively dissuading further North Korean nuclear use; (3) convincing other adversaries that nuclear use is a horrendous idea; (4) allaying allies’ concerns about extended deterrence; (5) satisfying domestic political demands; (6) conforming to international law; and (7) last, and quite possibly least, restoring the nuclear taboo. We address each of these imperatives in turn. Our goal is not to determine the “correct” response to North Korean nuclear first use but rather to identify the principal considerations involved in each of these imperatives. Fulfilling all these diverse imperatives in any particular scenario is highly improbable, so we also briefly address the relative priorities among several of them. We conclude with a discussion of the roles of the research and analysis community, the public, and political and military elites who may find themselves in positions of advising the president in a future nuclear crisis.
APL has published the event summary for the inaugural National Health Symposium, which brought together more than 160 experts from government, academia and industry to discuss ways that advances in research and development can translate into better delivery of health care.
It has been nearly 18 years since the publication of the three Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest issues dedicated to air defense. Since that time, many global events have shaped our national defense strategy and military capabilities. To meet the many new challenges, APL’s Air and Missile Defense Sector has focused its efforts on the integration of air defense and missile defense as well as of defense resources across the battle force. This issue highlights the challenges our nation faces in air and missile defense and APL’s contributions to shape future solutions.