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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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U.S. Deterrence Planning and Iran

U.S. Deterrence Planning and Iran

(p.153) 8 U.S. Deterrence Planning and Iran
Anticipating a Nuclear Iran

Jacquelyn K. Davis

Robert L. Pfaltzgraff

Columbia University Press

This chapter offers some concluding observations and recommendations for U.S. policy on how to deter a nuclear Iran according to three heuristic models: a Defensive Iran, an Aggressive Iran, and an Unstable Iran. Success in deterring a nuclear Iran will depend on how Iran emerges as a nuclear weapons state and the purpose of its nuclear deployments. Much will depend on the evolution of Iran's leadership. Iran may be not only determined to cross the nuclear threshold but also prepared at least to threaten to use nuclear weapons to expand its power and influence in and beyond the Middle East, as postulated in Model II: An Aggressive Iran. This chapter argues that extended deterrence should remain at the center of the United States's reassurance strategies and escalation control in contingencies involving Iran, with particular emphasis on measures such as extended deterrence in the so-called “second nuclear age,” deterrence of cyberwarfare and network operations, and addressing the implications of a nuclear Iran for homeland security.

Keywords:   nuclear weapons, Iran, Defensive Iran, Aggressive Iran, Unstable Iran, deterrence, United States, second nuclear age, cyberwarfare, homeland security

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