Print version

Geopolitics of Nuclear Hypertrophy. America, the Bomb and the Temptation of Nuclear Primacy


The United States’ grand strategy has consistently been marked by a distinct tendency toward nuclear hypertrophy. Especially the inherent difficulties in extending deterrence to its allies and friends, compounded by the geopolitical characteristics of the US as an unassailable ‘insular’ fortress off Eurasia, have generated, rather paradoxically, a strong incentive for Washington to pursue a wide margin of nuclear superiority, if not nuclear primacy. This has implied, in turn, the deployment of redundant arsenals, robust counterforce capabilities and even a ballistic missile defence. Significantly, not even the Obama administration, though solemnly committed to nuclear disarmament, abstained from embracing a very ambitious modernisation program of American nuclear forces.
Keywords: Geopolitics, US nuclear strategy, nuclear proliferation, Obama administration, deterrence