A new Congressional Research Service report (pdf) proposes an analytical framework for assessing the comparative strengths of U.S. conventional and nuclear forces in the context of a hypothetical future conflict with China.
The authors consider “the possible role that U.S. nuclear and conventional forces might play in four stages of potential conflicts: deterrence, prior to the start of the conflict; crisis stability in the early stages of the conflict; warfighting during the height of the conflict; and war termination, through either a negotiated settlement or a battlefield victory.”
The new report “highlights a number of policy issues that may bear consideration in the ongoing debate regarding military investments,” but refrains from drawing specific conclusions.
CRS does not make its reports directly available to the public. A copy was obtained by Secrecy News.
See “U.S. Conventional Forces and Nuclear Deterrence: A China Case Study,” August 11, 2006.