HomeNewsSpecial Reports21st Century Nuclear Deterrence

About Deterrence

The strategic environment has changed with the expanding capability of world actors. The future environment is less predictable and demands our national deterrence strategy accounts for the nature of this uncertainty.

rocket icon

NUCLEAR FORCES

The basis of strategic deterrence includes nuclear weapon-armed long-range aircraft, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarines, along with the vital communications elements the president of the United States uses to command and control these forces.

missile defense icon

MISSILE DEFENSE

Missile defense protects the United States, its military forces abroad and its allies and partners from the threat of a ballistic missile attack by destroying such missiles in flight before they reach their intended target.

safety badge icon

MODERNIZATION

Rebuilding and modernizing capabilities and infrastructure is essential to the continued effectiveness and resiliency of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW

President Donald J. Trump directed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to initiate a new NPR to ensure the nation's nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready and appropriately tailored to deter 21st century threats and reassures allies. This review is ongoing.

General Hyten Remarks on 21st Century Strategic Deterrence


BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE REVIEW

President Trump directed Secretary Mattis to identify ways to strengthen missile defense capabilities, rebalance homeland and theater defense priorities, and provide the necessary policy and strategy framework for our nation's missile defense systems. This review is ongoing.

21st Century Deterrence Components

Click below to learn more

sattelite sattelite

Space & Cyber

Information Superiority

Enables the ability to be more aware, agile and effective than the enemy.

bmds bmds

Ballistic Missile Defense System

Active Defense Capabilities

Incorporates a variety of sensors with ground- and sea-based interceptor missiles to track, engage and destroy ballistic missiles.

icbm icbm

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

Ready, Reliable & Timely

Complicates adversary attack planning and provides prompt response around-the-clock.

radar radar

Command, Control

Ensuring Decision Authority

Warns national command authority of attack and links national command authority with forces in the field to preserve decision time and maintain effectiveness.

labs labs

Laboratories

Enhancing Nuclear Security

Ensures the nation sustains the nuclear deterrent through the application of science, technology, engineering and manufacturing.

bomber bomber

Bombers & DCA

Flexible

The ability to forward-deploy U.S. bombers and dual-capable aircraft demonstrates U.S. intent and the severity of the crisis to allies and adversaries.

sub sub

Ballistic Missile Submarines

Survivable

Assured second strike capability, even against surprise attack, thereby enabling greater flexibility in the decision-making cycle.

infographic background

Leader Quotes

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, speaks on the joint perspective at the Air Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 20, 2017.
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of U. S. Strategic Command, speaks about 21st century deterrence at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2017.
Navy Vice Adm. Charles Richard, deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command, speaks about the Stratcom enterprise and its mission at the Peter Huessy Triad Conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 28, 2017.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conduct a news conference with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Washington, D.C., Aug. 17, 2017.
The Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with other Defense Department elements, successfully intercepts an intercontinental ballistic missile target during a test, May 30, 2017.

Faces of Deterrence

U.S. service members and civilian personnel work daily to deter any potential enemy who considers launching a first strike against the United States or our allies.

REFERENCES