Modernizing the U.S. Strategic Land-Based Missile Force: Prudent Necessity or Deterrence Distraction?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Consensus exists among U.S. government officials and defense policy experts with respect to modernization of the strategic nuclear triad of land and sea-based intercontinental missiles and long-range bombers, with one exception. Controversy continues with respect to modernization of the ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) force, and some experts favor elimination or extension of the existing ICBM force instead of its replacement and recapitalization. This study reviews the issue of ICBM modernization from the perspective of U.S. nuclear deterrence strategy and arms control, including the possibility of deploying some part of the strategic land-based missile force in mobile basing. We conclude that future U.S. nuclear modernization and related arms control objectives are not threatened by numbers of available or foreseeable weapons and launchers as much as they are by the advent of new technologies for offensive and defensive weapons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContributions to International Relations
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameContributions to International Relations
VolumePart F773
ISSN (Print)2731-5061
ISSN (Electronic)2731-507X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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