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Anticipating a Nuclear IranChallenges for U.S. Security$
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Robert Pfaltzgraff and Jacquelyn Davis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166225

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166225.001.0001

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Implications for U.S. Strategic and Operational Planning

Implications for U.S. Strategic and Operational Planning

(p.93) 5 Implications for U.S. Strategic and Operational Planning
Anticipating a Nuclear Iran

Jacquelyn K. Davis

Robert L. Pfaltzgraff

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the implications of Iran's nuclear development for the United States's strategic and operational planning based on the three heuristic models of a nuclear Iran: a Defensive Iran, an Aggressive Iran, and an Unstable Iran. Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a serious challenge to U.S. defense and deterrence planning. It is made even more difficult by the possible effect of radical Islamic ideology on Iranian national security policy and use of nuclear weapons. This chapter discusses principal considerations that should be the focus of U.S. strategic and operational planning for an Iranian contingency; the deterrence dynamics that a nuclear Iran would create between Tehran and other nuclear states, including China, Russia, Pakistan, and India; how Tehran's nuclear programs could provoke Israel into an attack to prevent Iran's emergence as a nuclear weapons state; and the need for a new deterrence paradigm in response to a nuclear Iran.

Keywords:   nuclear weapons, United States, strategic planning, operational planning, Iran, defense, deterrence, national security, nuclear states, Israel

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