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C A P I T A L M A R K E T S R E S E A R C H

R e s e a rc h for Living Sustainably on Earth

THE GAME STRATEGY OF


NUCLEAR DETERRENCE

2009 NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW COMMENTS

Orig. SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2009 - EDITED VERSION FOLLOWS

LYLE A. BRECHT, BUSINESS CONTACT & PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

PHONE: 410.963.8680

FAX: 931.598.0051

EMAIL: LBRECHT@PIPELINE.COM
T H E G A M E S T R A T E G Y O F N U C L E A R D E T E R R E N C E

NOTE TO NUCLEAR HAWKS, DOVES & THE NONPROLIFERATION COMMUNITY:


On September 24, 2009 the United Nations Security Council met and approved Resolution 1887. This
Resolution commits the Council to work toward a world without nuclear weapons, calls for further pro-
gress on nuclear arms reductions, and strengthens the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 1 This fol-
lows the President’s request of the Pentagon to rethink its draft Nuclear Posture Review that was charac-
terized as just more of the same thinking that has prevailed for the past 64-years.2

Efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons are grounded in the proposition that these weapons represent the
"gravest threat" to U.S. security. However, many smart and thoughtful persons differ in this assessment.
They claim that nuclear weapons may not make the world more dangerous. Nukes may make us safer.3

The proposition that nuclear weapons make the world safer is based on the premises of technological
positivism and the logical fallacy of retrospective determinism: nuclear weapons have not been used since
1945 and there's never been a nuclear, or even a nonnuclear, war between two states that possess them.
This statement presumes stationarity.4 This assumes that what happened in the past is a good indicator of
what the future portends. This assumption also provides rationale to go slow in reducing nuclear arsenals.

Is past history a sound basis to support nuclear deterrence based on Mutual Assured Destruction? For ex-
ample, on September 10, 2001, was the fact that the U.S. had never had a terrorist attack on its soil a good
predictor that an attack on September 11, 2001 would not occur? Stationarity presumes so.

We now have 64 years of experience since Hiroshima. Nuclear deterrence optimists argue how striking
this is - and against all historical precedent! Does nuclear deterrence really work? But after 64-years of
collected data, might we have learned just the opposite of what nuclear optimists argue?5 Or are these just
the thoughts of a nuclear pessimist? Someone with nuclear phobia.

Nuclear deterrence in both its strong (e.g. MAD, Assured Destruction) and weak (Massive Retaliation,
Minimal Deterrence) forms, relies on producing deterrence of the First Use of nuclear weapons through
the promise of a devastating counterattack. This strategy rests on the mathematics of game theory. This
game was originally conceived as a two-player Nash Equilibrium game (my behavior in the game will
determine your future behavior). Is what is ‘striking against all historical precedent’ not that deterrence
doctrine based on nuclear weapons works, but that humanity still survives on earth despite assuming that
possessing nuclear weapons produces deterrence?

Technological positivism presumes that the ‘correct number’ of nuclear weapons analytically derived will
achieve deterrence and extended deterrence objectives. But has nuclear deterrence encouraged an arms
race in conventional weaponry and preparations for national defense? Let’s develop ever more lethal
weapons so that we don’t have to use the nuclear option. Maybe this makes sense when national defense
is considered primarily in terms of counter-force. But does spending a $1,500 billion globally each year
on preparations to deter aggression merely divert scarce capital from human development and economic
growth? Does this diversion of capital make aggression more probable, rather than less so? Have nuclear
weapons, collectively along with nuclear deterrence doctrine, become a doomsday machine it is long past
time to unplug?6 Is this a good time to rethink the strategy of nuclear deterrence itself - something that has
served as a foundational belief upon which much of the Pentagon’s National Defense strategy rests.7
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TRANSMITTAL LETTER SUBMITTED:


VIA EMAIL:

RE: RETHINKING NUCLEAR DETERRENCE: NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW COMMENTS


Attached is an unsolicited proposal for a study to examine the feasibility for developing an up-
dated deterrence doctrine; a deterrence doctrine that does not depend on nuclear weapons.

The study objectives are to: (a) establish a new conceptual framework for deterrence; and (b)
develop a methodology for allocating capital to deterrence based on this framework.

For example, there may be value to expanding deterrence beyond counter-force. Today, deter-
rence counter-force is anchored by the maintenance of large stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
This creates an ancillary need for conventional weaponry to fight wars to avoid First Use of nu-
clear weapons.

The proposed methodology for allocating capital (i.e. creating budgets) to investigate for de-
veloping a deterrence posture is to use Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). This methodol-
ogy, applied to a re-visioned understanding of deterrence, may help to establish the high level
policy discourse necessary to set budget priorities analytically.8 Use of PRA with a reformu-
lated idea of deterrence may also provide a useful framework for making sound decisions re-
garding nuclear force strength (e.g. how many nukes, their modernity, who possess them, etc.)
and establishing a nuclear posture that affects nonproliferation and denuclearization objectives.

Nuclear weapons today, unlike in 1950 when nuclear deterrence was invented as a game to
play, are just one of a number of doomsday machines.9 Today, we know about many more ma-
chines (made by human hands/policies/choices) that have been developed: energy (e.g. Peak
Oil), food (e.g. GM seed crops, yields dependent on petrochemicals and irrigation) and fresh
water availability doomsday machines from climate disruption due to anthropogenic carbon
loading of the atmosphere, declining fisheries, ocean acidification, emerging pandemic dis-
eases, increasing antibiotic resistance, are some examples. Might it be that what links all of
these doomsday machines of serious, intertwined global-scale challenges are that the present
economic structure produces revenues and profits by expanding on the activities that result in
these doomsday machines in the first place?

It is important to determine if there are perverse economic incentives to maintain nuclear deter-
rence. Despite any bilateral or multilateral accords, unless these economic drivers are ad-
dressed, it is likely that actions taken will be mostly smoke and mirrors.

What if the maintenance of nuclear deterrence is a similar situation to the CDO meltdown on
Wall Street that destroyed $50,000 billion in asset values overnight? As systemic risk is not be-

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ing costed and included in market transactions, it appears that nuclear deterrence produces a
positive economic return to those countries that hold nukes (or the capacity to quickly assem-
ble them). Of course, that is mistaken thinking. Nukes, if their systemic risk is included in their
costs (e.g. systemic risk insurance premiums) it would be understood that these weapons are
unbelievable expensive and dis-economic (as well as morally and ethically untenable).10

But, as long as we mis-account for their true cost, nukes actually look inexpensive and eco-
nomically attractive from a strategic perspective. I guess that is one reason that they are so
hard to get rid of. Instead of the horse and buggy that they are, we continue to mistake them
for a shiny new technological wonder.

The brief that follows attempts to deconstruct the intellectual foundations of nuclear deterrence
doctrine and offers a counter to nuclear optimists. Limiting nuclear arsenals of Russia and the
U.S. may be necessary but insufficient.

What may be needed is a new global game, an updated deterrence doctrine based on a re-
thinking of the underlying game strategy upon which deterrence doctrine, the country’s nuclear
posture, and nonproliferation initiatives all rely. Today’s deterrence doctrine ultimately requires
nuclear weapons. It also provides the rationale for spending huge sums on ever more sophisti-
cated destructive weapons to achieve deterrence from attack so that nuclear weapons will not
be used first in warfare.

Under today’s formulation of deterrence doctrine, the nuclear optimists may be correct: more
nukes will make the world safer, denuclearization is a fanciful wish, and nonproliferation is an
illusory goal. However, all the arguments of nuclear optimists are self-referential. They depend
entirely on a deterrence doctrine based on certeris paribus (all things being equal) and heta-
comb (the deaths of many are necessary and sufficient to save a privileged few).

Under the current deterrence game of mutual assured destruction, all things are not equal,
certeris paribus. This game strategy has rationalized the expenditure of $60,000 billion over 64
years (in current dollars). This allocation of capital has changed everything on earth. Every
country’s economy has been affected. Other human development projects, those that might
have added more deterrence to conflict than developing yet another weapon system, have
been neglected. Might the world’s population be worse off for this use of scare capital?

Potentially the least ethically and morally defensible aspect of the current deterrence game is
the belief that the deaths of many are necessary to save a privileged few. Nowhere in Judeo-
Christian theology (or Islamic teachings, etc.) is this aberrant theology asserted. That some util-
ity results from current deterrence doctrine does not belie the immorality and unethicality of the
present deterrence doctrine. This doctrine hangs like the Sword of Damocles over all the peo-
ples of the earth and the earth’s life-sustaining environment.

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Although some analysts both inside and outside the government believe that the original value
of nuclear weapons as deterrence has become increasingly less relevant in today’s world and
discussions concerning denuclearization should proceed, other analysts believe that it is pos-
sible to limit the role of our nuclear weapons to a core deterrence mission with an ‘appropriate’
number of nuclear warheads and delivery systems to deter attacks on the United States and its
allies (extended deterrence under the nuclear umbrella provided by the U.S.).

The debate is presently focusing on the details: how many nukes, what kind, how modern, how
fast to reduce the national stockpile, numbers of launchers, subs and bombers, how the num-
bers of each part of the nation’s nuclear posture should be accounted for, and the administra-
tive policies, procedures and processes to verify that this agreed to strategy is actually carried
out and some command somewhere is not hoarding nukes, just in case.

The entire analytical exercise is proceeding with the objective of calculating with a fair degree
of confidence whether these decisions sustain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent for
America, but also for our allies. This analysis is what will inform any treaty negotiations to de-
nuclearize.

But what if the assumption that nuclear weapons themselves provide good value for deter-
rence in the world of the 21st Century was wrong?

What if this foundational assumption, taken for granted by those schooled in Cold War
gamesmanship is flawed?

What if nuclear weapons, irrespective of their numbers and all the detailed assessments that
go into the Review provide little deterrence at a staggeringly high cost? A cost that may be un-
sustainable if the past 64-year cost is any measure. This cost is ~100% knowable vs. the prob-
abilistic projections of cost of a nuclear accident, mistake, terrorist attack or war.

If any of these questions can be answered in the affirmative to everyone’s satisfaction, would
nuclear powers still wish to hold on to a supply nuclear weapons for old times sake? Or build
or acquire new nukes?

Would the carefully calculated numbers of nuclear weapons required for deterrence, arrived at
through pained and thoughtful analysis reported in the Review and carefully negotiated in the
upcoming bilateral and multilateral treaty talks, resemble Medieval theological discussions of
the number of angels that can dance on the end of a pin at best, or at worst, how we might re-
arrange deck chairs on the Titanic just prior to the ship hitting the iceberg?

Lyle Brecht

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A world without nuclear weapons is profoundly in Amer-


ica’s interest and the world’s interest. It is our responsibil-
ity to make the commitment, and to do the hard work to
make this vision a reality…. The biggest nuclear security
risk is not from a rogue state lashing out with ballistic mis-
siles, but a terrorist smuggling a crude nuclear device
across our borders. We spend more than $10 billion a year
on missile defense, but far too little on securing nuclear
materials around the world and improving security (in-
cluding detection) at our ports and borders…. I will not
authorize the development of new nuclear weapons. And I
will make the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons an ele-
ment of U.S. nuclear policy. - President Barack Obama11

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a
theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in
arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scien-
tists, the hopes of its children." - President Dwight Eisenhower, 1953

“We will complete a nuclear posture review that opens the door to deeper cuts and reduces the role of nu-
clear weapons.” - President Obama to United Nations, Wednesday, September 23, 2009

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Preface
Nuclear weapons remain potentially the most destructive threat to global [economic] security.12

Deterrence doctrine, despite its overt military focus, touches practically everything and every-
one. It provides a platform for cultural stability and human development that enables technical
innovation and economic prosperity and the means to improve general welfare around the
world. Thus, the success of U.S. deterrence doctrine is not only important nationally, but has
global ramifications.

U.S. deterrence doctrine is still based on the maintenance of large stockpiles of hydrogen-
nuclear weapons and launchers capable of delivering a devastating counterattack against any
power foolish enough to launch an attack. This foundational assumption of nuclear deterrence
doctrine is based on MAD (mutual assured destruction), a strategy developed from game the-
ory introduced in the early 1950‘s that proposes a Nash Equilibrium can be achieved between
two players. The working assumption of this game is that it will be in neither player’s interest
to engage in a First Use attack, if the result is a counterattack that destroys the attacking side.

By as early as the mid-1960‘s, instead of a Nash Equilibrium, nuclear deterrence based on MAD
devolved into a Prisoner’s Dilemma game. Instead of rational players, the two sides became in-
fused with fear of the other side where brinksmanship defined the decision-space. Instead of an
equilibrium, both sides engaged in an arms race to obtain a First Use advantage. Most impor-
tantly, the game evolved from a two-party game to a multiparty game of as many as eight play-
ers possessing nuclear weapons. Today, the game has potentially as many as 40 players who
posses the capacity to develop nuclear weapons at any time.

With the appearance of multiple parties possessing nuclear weapons, MAD morphed into As-
sured Destruction, Massive Retaliation, Minimal Deterrence, etc. A growing number of nations
now believe it is beneficial to possess nuclear weapons to deter a ‘preventive’ war against them
by adversaries with superior forces. The counterattack, although not as decisive as in the origi-
nal MAD game, would still be potentially catastrophic to the attacker. Thus, nuclear deterrence
provides an impetus for nuclear proliferation, potentially a more volatile brinksmanship de-
fined decision-space, and the ever increasing possibility that nuclear weapons may fall into the
hands of terrorists who may have nothing to lose by First Use, as no credible counterattack
could be launched against them. Additionally, it is unlikely that nonproliferation accords and
objectives can be achieved as long as nuclear deterrence is a viable strategic initiative. Present

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U.S. deterrence doctrine provides the engine for the proliferation of nuclear weapons by other
nations under the aegis of nuclear deterrence strategy.

Executive Summary
You know that the best you can expect is to avoid the worst13

Nuclear Deterrence, as a deterrence doctrine, was developed originally as a two-party game (U.S.
vs. Soviets) to avoid First Use of nuclear weapons. Today, it is no longer a two party game, but a
multiparty game (up to 40 potential players) and has been devalued to a weak form of nuclear
deterrence where proliferation is encouraged ‘so that my enemy will not engage in preemptive
war against my country.’
If the game math is worked out:

Continuing to play the nuclear deterrence game (strategy) will encourage proliferation as a
reasonable and economically attractive strategy;

Proliferation is not dependent only on the number of operational nuclear warheads (and
available HEU) and who posses these weapons, but on entangled policies related to deter-
rence doctrine, climate change adaptation, environmental degradation, globalization, pro-
tection of cyberspace, etc. Thus, deterrence is not merely a military doctrine and the founda-
tions of National Defense are not properly fully understood as based primarily on deter-
rence based on force;

Probability of First Use of nuclear weapons under a multiparty game is greater than under
the two-party game. First Use may reach certainty over relatively short planning horizons;

Nonproliferation objectives would be understood to be unachievable at any reasonable cost.

The economic consequences of the failure of deterrence and the ongoing costs of maintaining a
faulty (and potentially counter-useful) deterrence doctrine based on existing Nuclear Posture
are prohibitive in the present economic environment and may prevent improvement and long
term sustainable growth. 14

The U.S. needs to invent a new game to play and stop playing the unwinnable game of deter-
rence based on nuclear deterrence. This deserves a Bletchley Park effort, a Manhattan Project to
move beyond a game that must only end in Apocalypse. We propose an ongoing, multimillion
dollar immediate effort to rethink U.S. deterrence doctrine. 15
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Introduction
Science thrives upon the continuous correction of error. 16

The architecture of the Nation’s present deterrence doctrine where nuclear weapons are viewed
as a structural component of deterrence is based on two fundamental errors of strategic think-
ing: certeris paribus and hetacomb. Certeris paribus (‘all other things being equal’) becomes an ille-
gitimate dodge, an invalid sleight-of-hand in an attempt to make an illogical argument valid, by
definition, by imposing additivity upon a system of complexly interacting parts.

In systems defined by non-additivity (e.g. all natural and economic support systems on earth),
deterrence doctrine only makes sense if one imagines that it can be added to the earth’s operat-
ing systems without affecting any of these other systems. The doctrine presumes linearity in a
nonlinear world of complex systems and it discounts emergence entirely. 17

In a world where the use of nuclear weapons, in response to the failure of deterrence, could poten-
tially lead to the:
irredeemable disruption of the existing global economic infrastructure;
produce great risks in changing climate beyond anything heretofore imagined from anthro-
pogenic global warming;
where global warming could, in-turn, engender the collapse of global food production; and/
or;
threaten the continuance of life on earth as humans have evolved over millions of years to
enjoy;
On what basis can the certeris paribus of deterrence doctrine be responsibly supported?

The federal government has a responsibility to address this strategic-thinking vulnerability that
enables deterrence doctrine to proceed, certeris paribus, to ensure that the United States and its
citizens, together with the larger community of nations, can realize the full potential of the earth
we have inherited from our distant common ancestral mother, Mitochondrial Eve.

Deterrence doctrine is based on a strategic game of MAD. What is the real strategy upon which
this game is based? The strategy is hetacomb, originally meant as the sacrifice of a 100 oxen in
sacrifice to the gods, but even by the time of Homer already was used to designate the large
number of deaths incurred because of an agency for a greater good.

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Hetacomb is the mechanism by which natural selection works in the multibillion year march of
evolution on the earth. Some scientists believe that even the tens of millions of species that pres-
ently inhabit the earth constitute, at most, two percent of the species that have ever lived. Some
species must die for the march of evolution to continue.

However, the evolutionary process is laissez faire. It is not directed or pre-thought out by a
higher intelligence.18 Current deterrence doctrine that depends on the possible use of nuclear
weapons may be based on a potentially fatally flawed utility (i.e. it possibly works for us, there-
fore it is good) of technological positivism.

What drives technological positivism is a humanocentric utilitarianism.19 However, the prob-


lematic aspect of this problem solving approach is that utility them becomes the “primary moral
framework for decision making” regarding deterrence doctrine. 20

Utility as the primary criteria for decisions regarding nuclear deterrence may be a seduction.
For the philosophical underpinnings of utility tend to equate: (b) the telos of history as human
progress brought about by goods resulting from economic development and technological in-
novation; and (b) the goods of human progress can be justified as moral exclusively through
self-reflective interiority determined by human happiness, measured in economic terms.

What happens under this mental calculus is a compartmentalization. Utility drives ‘rational’
realpolitik policy decisions in one compartment. But if “God is superfluous to the order of the
material world” 21 in this compartment, where do ethics and morality enter in to the decision-
making? Is it all just calculus and utility? For without an ethical and moral foundation to deter-
rence doctrine, “the basis for the common good, for collective action, civic virtue and the very
consent to common social goals on which [present] societies depend” is undermined.22

What about ‘the environment’ that nuclear doctrine is to ‘protect’? Might even our ideas of the
national security inherit a myth of reclaiming a utilitarian Garden of Eden. This Garden then
becomes a new space of timeless convenience and unbounded personal happiness that nuclear
deterrence is to protect.23 Does protecting our collective vision of a Garden with nuclear weap-
ons poised to turn the Garden into a radioactive heap of rubble at a moments notice really make
any sense? Just who are we protecting this vision of a Garden for, and from whom? Is this the
best and only means humanity has conceived to protect its collective future on earth?

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Building Capacity
for Rethinking Deterrence
Nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable. Oil supplies are stretched thin as climate cooling drives up demand. Many
countries seek to shore up their energy supplies with nuclear energy, accelerating nuclear proliferation. Japan, South
Korea, and Germany develop nuclear-weapons capabilities, as do Iran, Egypt, and North Korea. Israel, China, India,
and Pakistan also are poised to use the bomb.24

N UCLEAR DETER R ENC E BEGA N A S A N A S H E Q U I L I B R I U M G A M E.25 Even the


acronym, MAD, sounds like a pernicious, expensive and dangerous game. This game has re-
sulted from the unusual physics and particular technology of fusion nuclear weaponry.26 In late
1949/early 1950, with the Soviets close to having access to this technology, John von Neumann
(1903-1957) and other military advisors argued for preventive war: First Use of the H Bomb and
total annihilation of the Soviet Union. MAD is the alternative that was invented, largely on
President Eisenhower’s urging, to counter First-Use advocates. MAD is a game strategy that en-
courages No First Use. It is a game strategy of deterrence through force.

If both sides in a two-party game have adequate deterrence, then neither side will strike first if
by launching an attack, the attacker would be destroyed in a counterattack. This game has three
assumptions: (1) approximate parity so that neither side has an advantage for First Use, (2) both
sides have enough information that they can make informed, rational decisions as the game
progresses, and (3) the players are rational. 27 Nuclear optimists add another assumption: (4) the
game can be played indefinitely through time. Provided these assumptions hold, MAD was
thought to place the parties in a Nash Equilibrium where neither party would rationally choose
First Use of nuclear weapons. The world would be safe from nuclear war. All that was required
is that both sides possessed nuclear weapons, could survive an attack, and could counterattack.
Nukes make the world safer.

NUCLEAR DETERRENCE SOON DEVOLVED TO A PRISONER’S DILEMMA GAME. 28 By the


mid 1960‘s, MAD may have become a prisoners dilemma with no Nash Equilibrium. Even
though launching a First Strike might produce a devastating counter-strike, each party had an
incentive to cheat; to break the equilibrium state, gain an advantage, and launch a First Strike
that would potentially be decisive. Instead of rationality defining the game, fear of the other
side caused each player to continually escalate to achieve an advantage. 29 Thus, an arms race
ensued, with ever escalating choices that were supposed to produce an advantage to one player
over the other. If the opposing player did not keep up, they fell behind and became vulnerable

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to a First Strike. This was an expensive game to play especially as it rationalized ever increasing
budgets for conventional weaponry to fight wars successfully without resorting to the use of
nuclear weapons. 30 When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the basis for a two-party game
also collapsed. Today, nuclear deterrence has became the default strategic game in a world with
multiple players with nuclear weapons. The assumption under nuclear deterrence is that nu-
clear weapons ‘protect’ a nation’s adversaries from attack. Thus, the idea of a nuclear umbrella
is important. If my nation has nuclear weapons, I can extend my deterrence, like an umbrella, to
include nations that are aligned with my nation against mutual adversaries.

WHY INVENTING A NEW GAME IS IMPORTANT. During the 1980’s, scientific exchanges be-
tween U.S. and Soviet scientists regarding nuclear winter produced the first cracks in the nuclear
deterrence game as played between the US and Soviets. However, since then: (a) the Pentagon
has continued to use a strategy of maintaining a nuclear arsenal as a foundational component of
U.S. deterrence doctrine, and (b) nuclear deterrence has morphed into a weak-form that drives
proliferation in order for states to assert their sovereignty in the face of pressures of globaliza-
tion and to prevent an attack by an enemy. Today, it appears that appeals to scientific evidence
to the contrary (e.g. nuclear winter, catastrophic climate change, drag on sustainable economic
growth, etc.) may convince the Pentagon that nuclear weapons are not necessary. What is lack-
ing is a reformulated deterrence doctrine that does not rely on nuclear weapons as a founda-
tional structural component for deterrence.

Today, nuclear deterrence and its overdetermining extended deterrence is a risk factor in eco-
nomic recovery, addressing climate change, protecting cyberspace, and succeeding at nonprolif-
eration efforts.31 In formulating our national security strategy and national military strategy, de-
veloping an updated strategic framework defining the unique role of nuclear weapons in deter-
ring threats to the United States, our key interests, and our allies, is both timely and important.

The existing nuclear posture must not be ‘justified’ by an updated deterrence doctrine. Pres-
ently, there are two policy sticking points: (1) there are those that believe that nonproliferation is
‘working’ as is because nuclear stockpiles in Russia and U.S. are declining. Thus, there is no
need to adjust deterrence doctrine; and (2) presently, there is no alternative deterrence doctrine
that has yet been ‘invented’ that does not rely on a nuclear arsenal.

What we are suggesting is that both of the above policy assumptions are wrong: (a) nonprolif-
eration cannot work as long as deterrence is based on maintaining a nuclear arsenal and (b) a
deterrence doctrine needs to be rethought that does not rely on nuclear weapons. What we are

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claiming is that until these two preconditions are satisfied, threat of a nuclear event (war, terror-
ist attack, accident) increases each year, irrespective of any nonproliferation ‘agreements.’

Nuclear deterrence as a strategy was the result of many millions of dollars in strategic research.
It is unlikely that a new strategic game (doctrine) will appear out of the blue without concerted
effort and a focused objective. Presently, this work is not being funded nor conducted despite
the growing accumulation of data that the present nuclear posture is dangerous and particularly
prone to failure if a PRA (probabilistic risk assessment) was conducted.

For example, the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve System have allocated more than
$17,500 billion of capital as grants, loans, guarantees, and tax relief to address the meltdown of
financial markets and to restart the domestic economy. All this investment is put at risk should
a nuclear event occur. The present nuclear deterrence framework for national security strategy
needs to be rethought.

WHY INVENTING A NEW GAME IS TIMELY. The present collapse of the normal functioning of
global markets and international finance reflect an inflection (tipping) point. 32 The present eco-
nomic crisis may be a symptom, not just of macroeconomic policies and the instability of inter-
national finance engendered by the second globalization, 33 but also of fundamental and struc-
tural inefficiencies in the markets that makeup the global economic system.

These fundamental and structural inefficiencies enable global and national markets to misprice
inputs and outputs from productive and consumptive activities in the economy by either defer-
ring known economic costs to the future or failing to account for known economic costs and
pushing these private costs to investors in the capital markets or public taxpayers. As resources
(freshwater, food, oil, etc.) are not allocated optimally in this economic system, national gov-
ernments seek to protect their own interests. With the arrival of atomic weaponry, now nuclear
fusion weapons capable of being packaging into backpack-sized payloads, large expenditures
on conventional weapons, military readiness and intelligence is required specifically to avoid a
nuclear exchange.

Countries that do not now posses nuclear weapons, seeing the landscape of strategic and eco-
nomic decision-making now seek to acquire nuclear weapons or, at a minimum, the capacity to
build nuclear weapons to secure their position in this precarious world order. 34 Today maybe
eight countries have nuclear weapons; potentially 40 countries posses the technology and ca-
pacity to build nuclear weapons if they so choose. The U.S. and Russia still have the largest
stockpiles of nuclear weapons (about 97% of the total) and weapons-usable HEU (highly en-
riched uranium) in the world. All together about 27,000 weapons still exist in national nuclear
weapons stockpiles, down from 75,000 during the height of the cold war; and HEU for about
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240,000 more weapons. Today, the highest probability of use of these weapons and HEU is by
terrorists to disrupt or destroy a nation’s economic support systems.

The U.S. has allocated ~$3,000 billion in capital towards counterterrorism activities and war
(Afghanistan & Iraq) since 9/11/01. Yet, capital allocated from these funds during this period
for nonproliferation amounts to less than $100 billion. Nuclear proliferation is potentially a pri-
mary driver for the possibility of nuclear terrorism. Threats from privatized terrorist organiza-
tions or rogue states today are highly probable, more likely than at any time in the past, and the
number one threat to global economic security35 despite progress since the mid ‘90s at securing
national stockpiles. 36 Such a situation results inevitably in an international economic system that
lurches from crisis to crisis with ever-spiraling costs to the global capital markets and public
taxpayers, as well as shattering lives of its victims.

Thus, there is an urgency to seek out means and ideas for speeding nonproliferation efforts to-
day and growing political will to envision a world free from the threat of nuclear terrorism.
Conditions include the depressed state of many national economies that has heightened con-
cerns for the stability of governments that possess nuclear weapons, HEU, or the technical
knowledge to construct nuclear weapons. This continuing and present danger also puts at grave
risk national economic recovery initiatives, for example, in the U.S. these include $700 billion
TARP funds; $2,980 billion already lent to private sector banks and the additional $2,000 billion
scheduled for additional balance sheet and debt restructuring; the $75 billion housing sector
foreclosure relief package; and the most recent $780 billion economic stimulus package.

Given the economic consequences of a nuclear terrorist attack, the capital markets may agree
that developing a deterrence doctrine no longer dependent on nuclear weapons to reduce the
probability of nuclear terrorism or eliminate this threat is of high value. The global capital mar-
kets may believe a refigured deterrence doctrine a prudent form of insurance.

IN SUMMARY: The White House’s 2009 Nuclear Posture Review needs to take into account and
rethink the Pentagon’s present nuclear deterrence doctrine that:

Relies on maintaining a large stockpile of hydrogen nuclear weapons at the ready for pur-
poses of deterrence;

Includes the expansion of the doctrine to include cyberspace;37 and

Produces deleterious effects on the ability to achieve national and global nonproliferation
objectives in response to bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements;

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Produces a force-structure environment that encourages and may even require the ever-
increasing investment in improved conventional weapons so as to be able to fight wars
without the First Use of nuclear weapons.

If a Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) of the continued use of the present deterrence doctrine
was performed,38 these surprising outcomes may become evident concerning the deterrence
doctrine, in its present nuclear deterrence form:

Consequences of a failure of deterrence are unacceptably large;

Probability of the failure of deterrence is beyond acceptable levels of risk;

Present deterrence doctrine is not appropriate for use in environments such as cyberspace; 39

Deterrence doctrine in its nuclear deterrence form is a barrier to achieving nonproliferation


objectives. It is unlikely that meaningful nonproliferation can be achieved as long as the doc-
trine in its weak form persists as deterrence strategy;

Nuclear deterrence creates an urgent need for ever increasing National Defense budgets that
usurp necessary capital from other threats to the Nation, such as from climate change, solar
storms that can disrupt the national electricity grid, protecting the domestic cyberspace, de-
pletion of oil supplies, etc.

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Propositions/Assumptions
for a New Deterrence Doctrine
Therefore, see without looking, hear without listen-/ ing, breathe without asking:/ The inevitable is what will seem to
happen to you/ purely by chance;/ The Real is what will strike you as really absurd:/ Unless you are certain you are
dreaming, it is certainly/ a dream of your own;/ Unless you exclaim – “There must be some mistake”/ – you must be
mistaken. - Auden 40

The purpose of this section of the brief is to present a series of propositions, a representative, not
exhaustive list, that require an assessment of truth or falsity. For these propositions, whether
explicit or not, underlie the assumptions used to make decisions regarding deterrence doctrine
and nuclear posture.

Our recommendation is to determine the truth or falsity of these propositions through analysis,
not fiat, tradition, power-relations, convenience, budgetary concerns, or any other non-
analytical methodology. Can we imagine more nuanced and productive objectives for the deter-
rence game? Policies that are moral? Different deterrence policies than those that have been
tried and found wanting? To make these choices – on what to allocate capital and how much
capital – requires dialogue. Might we be captive to our own language concerning deterrence? Is
the language that we use to describe deterrence choking off new, more creative ways for us to
imagine how to deal with the problem of aggression Presently, even if the political will existed,
do we lack the grammar for such dialogue?

What should concern us is the grammar we choose for the propositions concerning deterrence.
Maybe nuclear deterrence, as presently formulated, is not a game (strategy) that can be won in
any conventional way of thinking. Cleaning up our grammar is important. This requires that we
first clean up our thinking; about nuclear deterrence. A few representative propositions follow:

PROPOSITIONS
1. Nuclear deterrence41 is a life-game42 pitting two opposing sides with differing world-pictures43
against one another. The objective of the life-game of nuclear deterrence is to elicit No First Use
of aggression by the Other. 44 A game is won if one side is able to establish and maintain control
over the other side through this fear of First Use. The nonuse of nuclear weapons has been one of
the primary national security challenges since 1950 and still remains so today, even more so. 45

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.1 World-pictures are determinate of life-games. Life-games emerge over time through trial
and error, constrained by our particular world-pictures. However, the physical reality is that
nuclear weapons remain the most deadly proven weapons on earth.

.1.1 Life-games are descriptive of activities that have meaning (and importance) for partici-
pants of a game. Individuals in the West tend to play life-games for utilitarian reasons.
Different life-games compete with one another based on their utility. This may not be the
case for people from other cultural and religious backgrounds. There are many kinds of
games to play with Others rather than the game of nuclear deterrence.

.1.2 World-pictures are described through contingent language-games in use by followers of a


particular world-picture.46 These language-games delimit how one describes the slice of
reality that one sees or can be shown. One example is when President Dwight Eisen-
hower initiated the Atoms for Peace Program to address his “clear conviction that the
world was racing toward catastrophe” in a nuclear exchange between the U.S. and the
U.S.S.R.. Between 1950 and 1991, the focus was then placed on deterrence of a state’s
First Use of nuclear weapons to settle conflicts and on nonproliferation beyond existing
nuclear states.47 This became the prevailing world-picture that defined geopolitical real-
ity. A massive exchange of nuclear-tipped missiles during Total War between the U.S. and
the U.S.S.R. lent credibility to nuclear weapons as a modern-day doomsday machine.48

.1.2.1 Language-games are comprised of grammar and the rules for the use of this grammar.
Language-games are used to construct narratives incorporating symbols and metaphors
that describe deep aspects of the reality we can be shown through our world-picture.

.1.2.2 The particular world-picture in dominant use at any one point in time limits the context
for how language-games might be used to show someone an aspect of the wider reality
around them.

.1.2.3 The particular world-picture in dominant use at any one point in time limits the mean-
ing for what these language-games might say (the narratives that can be said; those that
have meaning) about the aspect of the wider reality one is shown.

.2 The belief in nuclear deterrence can arise out of almost all types of world-pictures. It is an
emergent activity; a tactic resulting from certain systems thinking concerning reality as seen
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through the individual or group’s world picture. Nuclear Deterrence itself is just one com-
ponent, an aspect of an entire system of thought and human activity. Deterrence is primarily
viewed as an military activity that can be added to the world’s other activities, certius pari-
bus.

.2.1 Nuclear deterrence is merely a tactic for engendering fear of aggression against the na-
tion possessing nuclear weapons. Fear is an emotional response. It is internal to the self.
What are important are the language-games one uses to describe this fear. The language-
games one uses to talk about this fear will most likely drive the moves one makes in the
life-game of deterrence. What the Other wants to do is to get inside our head; to propel
us to think about their case (‘cause’). That is the primary objective of a winning move in
geopolitics; to force us to rethink our world-picture. The potential for use of a nuclear
weapon is just a means (albeit immoral and horrific) to this end. Thus, all acts of terror
using the treat of use of nuclear weapons are ultimately political and theological. De-
spite the in-humane means (terror), it behooves players to look at the information con-
tained in the move (threat act of nuclear terror) and the assumptions driving the game of
nuclear deterrence.

.2.2 A nuclear attack or threat of attack with nuclear weapons, to be effective, must be public
and symbolic. The act must be designed to do more than just threaten to or actually to
kill the other. It must establish a narrative that means something to the opposing side on
which this act is perpetrated. Repeated narrative accounts of the act via media and re-
membrance (anamnesis) magnify the importance of the event in the minds of the affected
population. This also spreads the impact of the move beyond the immediately affected
individuals , cities, and vital infrastructure potentially or in actuality harmed by the at-
tack.

.2.3 It is highly unlikely that any government by itself can ‘control’ the language-games es-
tablishing perception of a nuclear attack on a civilian population. Neither limiting access
to knowledge of the attack nor claiming an event was different than what actually oc-
curred is typically helpful. No matter what language-games media reports use to ma-
nipulate or government spokespersons spin, what is important is the narrative account
individual citizens adopt themselves.

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.2.3.1 It is possible for individuals or governments to use the threat of a nuclear attack attack to
produce disproportionate fear, either intentionally or unintentionally, for a time.

.2.3.2 If individuals or governments use means to produce disproportionate fear intentionally,


the outcome from this manipulation cannot be known with certainty or confidence.

.2.3.3 Usually, telling the truth (in narrative form), as one understands it, is the least risky
path.

.3 The moves in the life-game of nuclear deterrence do not determine the level of fear felt. The
language-games one personally and collectively uses to express the fear felt is what estab-
lishes the level of fear personally and collectively. Defending against a nuclear attack once it
has begun is not technically feasible right now, and given the state of current technology
may not be feasible soon, at any cost; 49

.3.1 A move (threat of nuclear attack) is just an activity or event in space and time. By itself, a
move means little without interpretation.

.3.2 How a move is interpreted determines the effectiveness of a game move to produce fear.

.3.3 The objective of each move may not only be to create fear. Violence is not the only means
to create fear. Counter-violence is not the only means to create fear in opponents.
(Counter-violence usually will not stop violence.) However, violence and counter-
violence are often the most readily used moves and counter-moves. This is not to sug-
gest that these are the best moves. In the heat of a battle, violence and counter-violence
often appear as the most rational moves.

.3.3.1 It is understood that a nuclear threat or strike move, once started, cannot be stopped us-
ing violence or counter-violence moves. This assumption is unproven.

.3.3.2 The objective of a nuclear threat or strike move cannot be to stop the game.

.3.3.3 The only way to stop a game involving nuclear threats or strikes, once it has started, is to
not play.

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.4 The moves and counter-moves in the life-game of nuclear deterrence are capital-intensive.
Systemic risk associated with nuclear weapons is not being priced in the cost of maintaining
nuclear weapons stockpiles. Although the stockpiles of gold-standard level of secured nuclear
weapons and weapons-usable fissile material increases each year, the threat of and potential cost
of a nuclear event (e.g. nuclear accident, exchange, and/or terrorist action) also increases
each year.50

.4.1 One side’s game strategy may be to elicit particularly expensive and asymmetric moves
by their opponent(s). Securing the existing stockpile of nuclear weapons and weapons-
usable fissile materials to a gold-standard level of security would reduce practicable
threats from nuclear terrorism and/or a nuclear accident.

.4.1.1 A game strategy of disproportionate spending for counter-moves might create such fi-
nancial stress as to weaken the play of the opponent. Adequate capital has not been
readily available to destroy excess nuclear material and decommission aging nuclear
weapons and to secure existing operational nuclear weapons and weapons-usable fissile
materials to current gold-standard security levels.

.4.1.2 Disproportionate spending for counter-moves also creates an almost automatic ‘moral
advantage’ for the less-endowed opponent. The imputed opportunity costs for improv-
ing both the time to secure weapons and fissile materials and the total amount of se-
cured weapons and fissile materials is very large and would justify a large capital in-
vestment to speedup gold-standard security technology adoption.

.4.2 If a game has no foreseeable ending, one should calculate the available cash flow avail-
able to play a game during each discrete period of play. This is a probabilistic forecast
problem of the present value (PV) of activities designed to reduce the probability of a
nuclear threat or nuclear attack occurring.51

.4.2.1 Once the available cash flow for each period is known, capital constraints should limit
the type of moves one instigates to play a game of nuclear deterrence. Otherwise an arms
race will ALWAYS occur. An estimate of the cost of the arms race during the past 64-years
is $60,000 billion.

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.4.2.2 Game moves should be chosen based on their cost-effectiveness in playing a game.
There will never be adequate capital available to fund all desired moves and counter-
moves. Additional capital could be productively used: (a) to secure the global stockpile
of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable fissile materials; (b) to provide incentives for
existing states to destroy unneeded nuclear weapons and HEU; (c) to provide incentives
to nonnuclear states for not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons; and (d) to invent new
programs and policies specifically designed to stop terrorists from acquiring nuclear
weapons; 52

.4.3 Alternatively, one might calculate the capital requirements to stop a game by not play-
ing.

.4.3.1 Stopping a game by not playing is highly unlikely because too many vested interests
imagine that by not playing a game they will be worse off. Playing the game is profitable
to entrenched interests.

.4.3.2 If one wishes to stop a game by not playing, significant amounts of capital must be in-
vested to change the world-picture of game players so that a new game, other than nu-
clear deterrence, can be imagined.

.4.3.3 The capital required to change world-pictures so that a new game can be imagined is
probably more than the capital necessary to fund playing the existing game of nuclear
deterrence in any one play-period.

.5 The moves and counter-moves in a game may be counter-productive unless one is careful.
That is, moves and counter-moves are selected that intensify the fear and increate the tempo,
rather than slow the game down or reduce perceived fear of First Use nuclear attack.

.5.1 A game may lead to an ever-increasing spiral of violence and counter-violence unless
one is particularly careful in designing moves and counter-move strategy. This spiral-
effect means that more people on both sides will loose their lives in each successive
move and more property damage will occur. Using nuclear weapons adds potential the
longer-term costs of ecological services loss.

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.5.1.1 It is highly unlikely that through moves of violence and counter-violence that enough in-
dividuals on each opposing side can be killed or enough property damage can be ac-
complished even with the use of limited nuclear strikes to cause the spiral of violence to
cease. When an opponent ceases to fight back is a highly variable unknown. Some op-
ponents will continue to fight back well beyond the point where all infrastructure is de-
stroyed.

.5.1.2 The game of nuclear deterrence feeds on violence. The strength of a game intensifies.
Violent moves and counter-moves tend to produce a self-perpetuating game. This game
is also used to justify never-ending improvements and investments in increased budgets
for conventional weaponry - in order to avoid First Use of nuclear weapons.

.5.2 A game may lead to an ever-increasing requirement for capital to fund moves and
counter-moves unless one is particularly careful in designing moves and counter-move
strategy.

.5.2.1 The tempo and intensity of a game determine the capital requirements of the financially
dominant opponent in a game. The less financially able opponent can get by with sig-
nificantly less funds, yet play the game well.

.5.2.2 Any specific move in a game can be extremely inexpensive, yet produce disproportion-
ate financial damage if one of the opponents is a nation state and the other a group of
privatized individuals. Nation states that are nuclear security states are particularly vul-
nerable to the costs of terrorism. More so than non-nuclear states.

.6 It is risky to conflate non-game objectives with game objectives when making moves.

.6.1 For example, initiating moves that acquire oil reserves may be a solid national strategic
objective. But claiming this move should be made for counter-terror purposes is danger-
ous. It is destructive of game-play, with unforeseen consequences.

.6.2 Playing the game is hard enough. Introducing other strategic considerations into the
game only hobbles the play of the side adding the complexities. Playing the game com-
petently requires fixity of purpose and clear vision, not multiplexed purposes.

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2 A game of nuclear deterrence is always played for deeper reasons than to control the Other
through fear. These reasons may always be explained using rationality and objective lan-
guage. However, these reasons may be best able to be understood non-rationally (theologi-
cally) using subjective language. This applies to both sides playing the game. By ‘theologi-
cally’ I mean the use of subjective grammar that describes the meaning of particular motiva-
tions and aspects of reality. Since the mid-1980’s there has been a growing belief by the ma-
jority of nations that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought.” 53 Thus, states
have generally subscribed to a No First Use nuclear strategy. At the same time, non-nuclear
states have sought protection under a nuclear state’s nuclear umbrella.54 All of these game
moves are based on theological beliefs, faith that that nuclear deterrence actually works.

2.1A game of nuclear deterrence is a rational game played by both sides for real reasons like:
human freedom, self-determination, access to natural resources, a ‘better life,’ the basic re-
quirements for living (e.g. food, clean water, shelter), etc. Games of nuclear deterrence are
almost never played for evil reasons, from the perspective of each player. The overriding
driver for the near certainty of a nuclear event (nuclear accident, terrorist attack, or nuclear
exchange) if the nuclear deterrence game continues as is -- is the playing of an unwinnable
game. This factor accounts for about 55% of the risk of a nuclear event.

2.1.1 The probability (P) of any one imagined move in a game of nuclear deterrence will ap-
proach certainty (P = ~0.96t) over a specific planning period.

2.1.2 What cannot be calculated with any degree of certainty or confidence are the results
from any imagined move.

2.1.3 The only means of reducing the probability (P) of any imagined move in a game is to
invest capital to remove the pre-conditions for that move.

2.1.4 Intelligence is an inadequate means for removing all pre-conditions for a specific move.
At most, Intelligence can uncover a small percentage of data concerning the actors who
may wish to participate in a game of nuclear deterrence and their specific plans during
any one game-period.

2.2The moves of each side have a logical structure. However, oftentimes a move is determined
more by the institutional structure of participating actors in a game than by the tempo (ca-
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dence) and tactical requirements of a game itself. The nuclear deterrence game, as presently
being played, is unwinnable.

2.2.1 Making moves that are based on the institutional structure of the side playing a game
rather than the tempo and tactical requirements of the game itself often leads to moves
that are nonsense (illogical or irrational). The game is inherently unstable. As like many
other prisoner’s dilemma games, nuclear deterrence requires large amounts of capital
injected on a continuing basis to stabilize the relative positions of game players. This is
capital unavailable to address human development, economic growth through techno-
logical innovation, and emerging national and global threats such as global warming; 55

2.2.2 Impetus to cheat in playing the game is determined by a weak form of Mutual Assured
Destruction (MAD). 56 Nuclear Deterrence assumes my opponent will not attack my
country if I possess nuclear weapons. 57 Also, my country will have higher prestige and
better negotiating power on the world stage if I possess nuclear weapons or a credible
threat as to my ability to produce them at any time of my choosing; 58

2.2.2.1Each move in the game has a theological component. This theological component de-
scribes the meaning one might attribute to this action. This meaning is subjective, not ob-
jective. That is, theological discourse is non-rational, not rational discourse (also, not ir-
rational discourse). Theological discourse is able to discuss things that rational discourse
misses. Theological discourse is necessary to explain and understand the meaning of
things in one’s world-picture. Theological discourse is helpful to elucidate the logical
structure of a game.

2.2.2.2Sectarian religiosity and religious discourse is not the same as solid theological dis-
course. While solid theological discourse is subjective, sectarian religious discourse is
often objective and ideological. Whereas solid theological discourse is non-rational, sec-
tarian religious discourse is often irrational. Solid theological discourse can be accom-
plished successfully in settings where the Other is embraced. Sectarian religious dis-
course is often initiated to exclude the Other. Sectarian religious discourse often attempts
to arrive at certainty when there is none; to apply conformance while independent think-
ing is what is needed; to apply sectarianism where plurality is necessary. Sectarian relig-
ious discourse does not elucidate the logical structure of a game.

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2.2.2.3Letting sectarian religiosity determine game moves makes no more sense in this game
than in a game of chess.

2.2.3 Game moves may produce a political result. But this result cannot be calculated with
any degree of certainty or confidence. The advent of cyber warfare and cyber weapons
development and present U.S. National Defense policy that relies on “full response op-
tions,” even response using nuclear weapons59 means that possessing a nuclear weapon
capability is even more important requirement to stabilize national security; 60 This is
based entirely on belief in the nuclear deterrence game. It is a faith statement that cyber-
space can be ‘protected’ via nuclear deterrence.

2.2.4 Game moves must be decided using rational means based on the particular logic of the
move being played. Neither religious nor political dialogue is useful for determining the
best next move. Theological faith statements must be challenged.

2.2.4.1Political dialogue is useful for initiating conversation to decide whether to play a game
or not. Whether or not to play a game of nuclear deterrence cannot be made on purely
rational calculus. This decision is ethical in nature. Ethics defies rational analysis. Like-
wise, the ethics of specific moves cannot be decided using a rational calculus. Political
dialogue (along with theological considerations) is necessary to arrive at whether spe-
cific moves in the game are ethically acceptable.

2.2.4.2Political dialogue is also useful to establish levels of available capital that might be in-
vested to play a game and that spent on specific game moves. However, the opportunity
costs for playing a game and each move should also be calculated (e.g. “What are we giv-
ing up by playing this game at this level of intensity, at this time?”). Nuclear weapons
are prohibitively expensive to own and maintain. They just don;t appear so because the
systemic risk of nuclear weapons is not priced and added to the cost of the weapons.

2.2.4.3Letting political dialogue determine game moves makes no more sense in this game
than in a game of chess. Recent scientific work regarding global warming suggests that
climate change will be much more severe and produce potentially catastrophic environ-
mental impacts during this century. Thus, it becomes almost necessary for a state to pos-
ses nuclear weapons as a means to assure its position in the upcoming grab for ever
more scarce natural resources, such as water, arable land, oil, capital, etc. 61 Political deci-
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sion making is necessary to decide whether or not to continue playing the nuclear deter-
rence game

2.3The collapse of the normal functioning of global markets and international finance is a po-
tentially destabilizing forcing function 62 in the nuclear deterrence game that could push the
the nuclear deterrence game to a tipping point toward nuclear proliferation or towards First
Use.

2.3.1 The present collapse of international finance and the arrival of anthropogenic global
warming reflects fundamental and structural inefficiencies in the markets that makeup
the global economic system. As resources (freshwater, food, oil, CO2, etc.) are not allo-
cated optimally in this economic system, national governments seek to protect their own
interests. Countries that do not now posses nuclear weapons, seeing the landscape of
strategic and economic decision-making now seek to acquire nuclear weapons or, at a
minimum, the capacity to build nuclear weapons to secure their position in this precari-
ous world order; 63

2.3.2 In some respects, in the present economic environment, nuclear weapons, plutonium
cores (Pu239 + Pu240) and HEU comprise toxic assets with an economic ‘cost’ far be-
yond the ~$80 billion annual cost to secure, store, and maintain this material. The pur-
pose of nuclear weapons themselves is to destroy wealth. If they are ever used, there will
be a reconstruction cost. Thus, to properly account for their existence at all, it would be
proper to calculate an annual imputed insurance premium (the systemic risk of possess-
ing a nuclear weapon). This would be the economic cost for possessing a nuclear
weapon, given its destructive potentiality and probability of being used, amortized over
time;

3 A game of nuclear deterrence comes in at least two different flavors. All are emergent from
prevailing world-pictures of players at the time a game is being played. All comprise nu-
clear deterrence, based on their potential fear-inducing results. The two flavors are played
among nation-states or with terrorists. Terrorists would plausibly attack a nuclear facility;
insiders would plausibly steal from such a facility; that terrorists could plausibly make a nu-
clear bomb if they got the material (or detonate a stolen bomb if they got one of those); and
that there is minimal chance of detecting and stopping a terrorist bomb before it is deliv-
ered.
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4 A hermeneutics of hope best describes the thinking required for mapping the best moves in
a game of nuclear deterrence. This is because a primary component of the game is the use of
symbolic and metaphoric narrative, not ‘war planning strategy.’ These narratives are ulti-
mately theological narratives. That is, they supply a deep meaning for moves and counter-
moves in the game. The best moves ask deeply penetrating questions of each other’s world-
pictures. Present nuclear deterrence moves are limited in that they may contain too few in-
centives for nuclear states to not cheat on destroying unneeded weapons and HEU and for
present non-nuclear states to not seek to modernize, increase and/or improve deployment
or protection of existing nuclear weapons;64

4.1We live daily with violence all around us. Why some forms of violence and not others be-
come constituted as moves in a nuclear deterrence life-game is due to the language-games
used to describe the violence. If the language-games discuss the violence as ‘symbolic’ and
associated with specific deeper objectives that challenge the world-picture of those to whom
the violence is being done, then oftentimes the violence is referred to a ‘terrorist’ threat. It is
easy to forget that the nuclear deterrence game is a non zero sum game, 65 ands as presently
being played, is unwinnable. 66

4.1.1 If proliferation continues apace, the probability of a nuclear accident or nuclear terrorist
attack or nuclear exchange between countries (“a nuclear event”) approaches certainty
(P < 1.00) during 20-50 year planning periods;67

4.1.2 Time, the time quantities of nuclear weapons, plutonium cores (Pu239 + Pu240), and
HEU (highly enriched uranium) exist and are vulnerable to theft, is a factor driving the
probability of a nuclear event towards certainty. Thus, time, quantities of nuclear mate-
rials, and level of security to avoid theft or misuse of these materials are determinant
factors. Together, they account for about 45% of the factors that place the world at risk
from a nuclear event occurring.

4.2If nations continue playing the nuclear deterrence game in the present economic environ-
ment, they will need significant additional resources, given the tensions among growing
numbers of players of this game to actually decrease the probability of a nuclear event.

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4.2.1 Even with determined nonproliferation, as long as nuclear deterrence is operant, the
probability (P) of a nuclear event grows, not lessens over time. This added risk will tend
to create opportunity costs that put a drag on real GDP growth or may, at any time, de-
stabilize the global economy should a nuclear event occur or be thought to be relatively
more probable.

4.2.1.1An increased awareness of the probability of a nuclear event occurring might result in a
change in the perception of relative world power, the introduction of ancillary technol-
ogy such as launch capability or antiballistic missile defense, the repositioning of exist-
ing nuclear weaponry, the proliferation of nuclear weaponry or capability to build
weapons, tensions between nuclear states over resources or in response to terrorism.

4.2.1.2Multilateral and bilateral nonproliferation treaties and agreements are necessary pre-
conditions, but alone, are probably insufficient to adequately manage risk associated
with proliferation driven by nuclear deterrence. The nuclear deterrence strategy will
tend to always overpower the ability to denuclearize or to achieve nonproliferation ob-
jectives, in most game situations. Whatever is agreed to through treaty will tend to be
subverted by the remnants of nuclear deterrence strategy.

4.2.1.3This also suggests that in bilateral disarmament from present levels, there may be a
point beyond which disarmament increases the risk of a nuclear event occurring rather
than decreases this risk as the number of nuclear weapons is reduced. 68 This is due to
nuclear deterrence still being operative in a multiplayer game environment. This is not
to indicate that bilateral disarmament should not continue, but that this alone will be
insufficient to adequately manage risk of a nuclear event occurring

4.2.2 What is real and true is that nuclear deterrence life-games, where moves and counter-
moves revolve around violence and counter-violence for their substance, are games be-
tween terrorist-like opponents. All parties are engaging in a game of nuclear deterrence
that can only end in an unwinning move that achieves some threat of a doomsday event
for the threatened party and potentially its realization.

4.2.3 To play the nuclear deterrence game with violence entails one becoming “like a terrorist”
from someone else’s perspective.

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4.3What may be required most of all is to develop an alternative to the nuclear deterrence stra-
tegic initiative. Dedicated resources will be required to develop, try out, prove, and adopt
another game.

4.3.1 In all likelihood, it is possible that an alternative to nuclear deterrence may evolve out-
side of risk management strategies that are not primarily military-oriented counter-
force-focused strategic thinking. At least, a range of potential risk management games
that are not limited solely to their strategic military value should be included for consid-
eration as alternative to nuclear deterrence.

4.3.2 Deterrence doctrine based on MAD was designed as a two-player game. Today, 8-9 na-
tions possess nuclear weapons and as many as 40 nations have the ability to produce
nuclear weapons at any time they choose. Deterrence based on nuclear weapons maybe
creating conditions for proliferation. Nonproliferation cannot be successful if this con-
tinues.

4.3.3 Deterrence that relies on nuclear weaponry has produced an arms race in conventional
weaponry, with ever increasing amounts of scarce capital diverted each year from hu-
man development and economic growth. One of the purposes of improved conventional
weaponry is to be able to fight wars without resorting to nuclear weapons. This situation
is producing conditions for more future conflict, as economic, environmental, and cli-
mactic changes become more serious.

4.3.4 Deterrence is presently thought of in primarily military terms, more specifically in terms
of the potential for counter violence. Thus, deterrence is seen primarily as the need to
possess weapon systems whose capacity to inflict destruction is paramount. This is a
limiting understanding of deterrence in a multipolar world where transnational terror-
ism may be a progenitor of violence that, when nuclear weapons are a structural com-
ponent of deterrence, may no longer serve to engender deterrence.

4.4The consequences for failure of deterrence based on nuclear weapons is potentially cata-
strophic, both environmentally and economically. It may no longer be possible to ‘win’ a nu-
clear exchange, at least in any meaningful fashion, on a human timescale.

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4.4.1 Is extended deterrence (my nuclear umbrella protects your non-nuclear nation) a good
reason to keep playing the deterrence game? No. This is a sub-game. Either the deter-
rence game makes sense from a strategic perspective or not. The only rationale for nu-
clear weapons is if they, in fact, produce deterrence. Do they?

4.4.2 Nuclear optimists (at least over the past 64 years) claim nuclear weapons 'work' as no
nuclear event has yet occurred. This is poor reasoning. Another explanation is that our
sample size is not large enough.

4.4.3 A PRA (probabilistic risk assessment) might be a better measure. Might a PRA suggest
that the risk of a nuclear event is indeed very large, and unacceptable, given the conse-
quences? If so, then coming up with a new game (strategy) other than deterrence doc-
trine reliant on nuclear weapons might be good and timely policy.

5 A game of nuclear deterrence is built upon a philosophical dualism of “the Other” that is
philosophically, scientifically, and theologically nonsense (from a post-modern perspective).

5.1The philosophical assumption is that the Other is universally and incontrovertibly “different
than and less than” our national self and those who constitute our reference group. There is
little truth to this statement. There are no known laws of physics, biology, or psychology, or
other sciences that confirm this belief. This belief of exclusion, rather than embrace of, the
Other is usually based on fear. If fear was not already evident, the Other would not be able
to engage in a game of nuclear deterrence to build on this pre-existent fear. Theologically
speaking, this is idolatry.

5.2Usually, Others are more similar to one’s own self than different or less than.

5.2.1 World-pictures can be radically divergent between two different representatives of the
human race, yet exhibit fundamental similarities in human purposes and desires for
what constitutes a “good life.”

5.2.2 Oftentimes the prevailing problem with those having divergent world-pictures has to do
with issues of power. If an aspect of the world-picture of one group is that they are obvi-
ously superior to other groups of humans, or have access to a disproportionate amount

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of world resources, or are looking for obsequiousness from the other group, then this is
an inherently conflicted situation.

5.2.2.1Conflict does not necessarily lead to violence and counter-violence. Conflict does not
usually lead to a game of nuclear deterrence.

5.2.2.2For a game of nuclear deterrence to begin, two or more parties must be willing and
ready to play. Also, other dialogic options to a game of nuclear deterrence either must
have been exhausted, or not be available to both parties.

6 If we are playing a game of nuclear deterrence, we may not be playing other games that
may be more interesting, more important life-games (e.g. liberal democracy, education,
health-care, commerce, managing our finances so that future generations are not burdened
by our consumption, etc.).

6.1‘Winning’ is not useful grammar for describing outcomes from playing a game of nuclear
deterrence. This game cannot be “won” by either side. That is, playing a game of nuclear
deterrence long enough will transform both sides into different actors from whence a game
began. Neither side may retain the same world-picture with which they began a game. Both
sides’ world-pictures will most likely change by playing a game of nuclear deterrence.

6.1.1 The change of world-picture enabled by playing the game might result in new possibili-
ties for human freedom that could be viewed as either positive or negative from today’s
vantage point by different constituencies.

6.1.2 However, it is impossible to calculate whether or not new possibilities for human free-
dom could have been reached in the future by alternate, less costly means than by en-
gaging in the expensive game of nuclear deterrence today.

6.1.3 Secrecy inhibits new ideas for developing game strategy. Instead, secrecy tends to en-
courage the game be played around fairly narrow, known strategies with fairly conven-
tional tactics, with limited usefulness. That is why the opponents in the game may be
viewed as ‘creative’ and ‘resourceful’ when they really are not. They only appear as such
relative to the ‘uncreative’ and ‘lack of resourcefulness’ of the conventional secret tactics
used to thwart attacks in the game of nuclear deterrence.
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6.2‘Losing’ is useful grammar for describing outcomes from playing a game of nuclear deter-
rence. The game of cannot be ‘won’ in any conventional way of thinking about winning.

6.2.1 No particular move in the nuclear deterrence game can be accurately classified as a
‘good move’ or a stupid move.’ Each move is just ‘a move’ or ‘a counter-move’ in the
game of deterrence being played.

6.2.2 All moves in the game entail loosing something: freedom of movement, capital, human
lives, opportunities, world-pictures, reputation, respect, faith, hope, the ability of the
earth to support life, etc.

7 What we cannot speak about, we cannot imagine. Illiteracy and incompetence in interpret-
ing the ‘text’ of our opponent’s moves of nuclear deterrence terror breeds unimaginative
pain and suffering from inappropriately-chosen game moves/counter-moves gone bad.69

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ABOUT CAPITAL MARKETS RE S E A R C H ( C M R ) & P R I N C I PA L I N V E S T I G ATO R

CMR is a special purpose, not-for-profit, NGO formed specifically to develop projects that en-
gender a more open market for capital allocation: (1) markets that enable investors to make in-
vestment decisions based on a solid understanding of a firm’s economic prospects; (2) markets
that account for and economically price public goods and services; (3) markets that understand
and value the real impact government policies have on a community’s wealth creation or
wealth destruction over time. CMR’s first project was the development of AmericaReport, a
business-style annual report of the Federal budget. Report users included the Executive Branch
offices of federal government (e.g. Treasury, GAO, etc.); House and Senate Budget Committees;
economic think tanks; multinational corporations; Financial Executives Institute (14,000 chief
financial officers, treasurers, controllers).

Lyle Brecht is a U.S. citizen, business development advisor and social entrepreneur who has ad-
vised private industry and agencies of the federal government. For various public service and
new business projects he has helped to raise a total of one billion dollars. Mr. Brecht has a gradu-
ate degree in business from Harvard Business School and a graduate degree in applied ecology
from the University of Minnesota. A few of the projects Mr. Brecht has been Principal Investiga-
tor for include:

Developed proposal for an Environmental Intelligence Center that would serve as a focus center for collecting
critical real-time environmental data. The proposal was presented to the U.S. National Security Council and im-
plemented at the Central Intelligence Agency. The impetus of the Center was to provide early warning that could
prevent catastrophes such as the loss of 200,000 lives in the East Indian Ocean rim tsunami on December 26,
2004, that also displaced over 2 million people from a dozen Asian and African countries;

Established pilot inter-jurisdictional communications center to coordinate Federal, State, and local government
agencies response to the Argo Merchant oil spill off Atlantic coast. The write up from this activity was used for
designing the Integrated Emergency Management System and an impetus for establishing the new Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 1979;

Managed development of a research project at MIT’s Urban Systems Lab that involved 1,000 planners, engi-
neers, and government officials and negotiated with Federal government to provide $100 million to test new
planning & technology adoption processes using nonlinear, dynamical system analysis;

Developed model for assessing the detrimental financial affect electric power utility shareholders for utilities in-
vesting in nuclear power plants. Results were that this analysis helped one electric power utility in New England
decide to cancel their plans for a second nuclear power plant on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and one of the
largest electric power utilities in the U.S. to develop a portfolio approach including clean-tech energy infrastruc-
ture rather than an all-nuclear power option for a $50 billion ($2008) building program.

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ENDNOTES:
1 See “White House on SC1887” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/20164919/White-House-on-UN-Resolution-1887.

2The Nuclear Posture Review (2009) is a top-to-bottom review of America’s nuclear force structure. The
objective is to analytically determine, first of all, how many nuclear weapons the U.S. needs for deter-
rence. The last time the Pentagon conducted a review of the country’s nuclear posture in 2001, it deter-
mined that the American military could get by with between 1,700 to 2,200 strategic nuclear warheads at
the ready. Total American strategic nuclear warheads totaled more than 32,000 in the 1960s, dropped to
10,500 just before START was signed in 1991, and may be no more than 2,200 today.

The Review will also include recommendations concerning whether a new generation of safer and more
reliable warheads should be built and whether the nation still needs to maintain a triad of land-based
missiles, submarine-launched missiles and strategic nuclear-weapons laden bombers. Ultimately, the in-
tent of the Review is define the appropriate number of strategic weapons, as well as which missiles,
bombers and submarines to keep, how much to spend modernizing them and the potential strategic im-
plications for deterrence that is supposed to function in a changing world where small states, too, can ac-
quire nuclear arms.

Although some analysts both inside and outside the government believe that the original value of nuclear
weapons as deterrence has become increasingly less relevant in today’s world and discussions concerning
denuclearization should proceed, other analysts believe that it is possible to limit the role of our nuclear
weapons to a core deterrence mission with an ‘appropriate’ number of nuclear warheads and delivery
systems to deter attacks on the United States and its allies (extended deterrence under the nuclear um-
brella provided by the U.S.).

The debate then focuses on the details: how many nukes, what kind, how modern, how fast to reduce the
national stockpile, numbers of launchers, subs and bombers, how the numbers of each part of the nation’s
nuclear posture should be accounted for, and the administrative policies, procedures and processes to
verify that this agreed to strategy is actually carried out and some command somewhere is not hoarding
nukes, just in case. The entire analytical exercise is proceeding with the objective of calculating with a fair
degree of confidence whether these decisions sustain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent for
America, but also for our allies.

But what if the assumption that nuclear weapons themselves provide good value for deterrence in the
world of the 21st Century was wrong? What if this foundational assumption, taken for granted by those
of us schooled in Cold War gamesmanship is flawed? What if nuclear weapons, irrespective of their
numbers and all the detailed assessments that go into the Review provide little deterrence at a stagger-
ingly high cost? If that was the case, would nuclear powers still wish to hold on to a supply nuclear
weapons for old times sake?

Would the carefully calculated numbers of nuclear weapons required for deterrence, arrived at through
pained and thoughtful analysis reported in the Review, resemble Medieval theological discussions of the
number of angels that can dance on the end of a pin at best, or at worst, how we might rearrange deck
chairs on the Titanic just prior to the ship hitting the iceberg?

3 See “Myth of the Nuclear Security State” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/19646103/.

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4 “Stationarity in a Random Process implies that its statistical characteristics do not change with time. Put
another way, if one were to observe a stationary random process at some time (t) it would be impossible
to distinguish the statistical characteristics at that time from those at some other time (t′).” Generally, the
assumption of stationarity is helpful in modeling real-world problems as it enables the use of linear
mathematical techniques to approximate the potential behavior of complex systems. However, all com-
plex systems exhibit nonlinear processes and emergence (results may not be predicted from the historical,
chaotic systems processes).

Thus, in the real world, models based on stationarity (which almost all models are) may not be used to
predict future system states with any degree of certainty, especially if such system states are projected to
occur over significant timeframes (from the perspective of the system being modeled). Where the rubber
hits the road with stationarity is the growing realization that due to physical changes in the environment
being modeled through historical processes, the assumption of stationarity itself is invalid.

That is, we are living in a non-stationarity world today. "This is something completely new -- to make de-
cisions not on facts or statistics about the past, but on the probabilities for the future." See mathematical
expression of stationarity at http://cnx.org/content/m11102/latest/; how stationarity affects real-world
models P.C.D. Milly, et.al., “Stationarity is Dead: Wither Water Management?,” Science (1 February 2008):
Vol. 319. no. 5863, pp. 573 - 574 at: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/ short/319/5863/573; “His-
tory Can No Longer Guide Investors, Farmers: UN at
http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-GreenBusiness/idUSTRE57P22D20090826?rpc=60.

5 A better question might ask: can we learn anything from a policy experiment where the number of trials
is N=1, and the duration is only 64 years? Humans often miss "large scale, long duration problems. We are
not wired to see large systems, as being in motion. The larger the phenomenon, the more stationary it is
likely to appear to us." See: http://gregor.us/coal/jevons-and-the-six-day-car-crash/.

Nuclear deterrence doctrine might be stable (sustainable) to 100 years, or it could be moving towards col-
lapse in a period of 65 years (one year from today). There is no way to know unless one is able to map all
the variables comprising the system over time. In dynamical systems described by mathematics, this has
been shown to be impossible (due to emergence and mathematics of complex systems exhibiting chaos).

All we can do is to approximate a dynamical system’s future state as a probabilistic forecast. That is, we
can predict that state λ will occur with a probability of α %. But, within a some probabilistic range, the
dynamical state at time t, could reside at collapse (however that is defined). Thus, risk management be-
comes of utmost importance. How risky are the potential end states of the system our policy enables (the
structural system risk)?
A recent example of not addressing structural risk is the use of CDO (collateralized debt obligations) fi-
nancial instruments by Wall Street. These instruments’ individual risk was hedged via complex. finan-
cially engineered derivatives, but the structural risk to the entire CDO market was not managed. Thus,
the Federal government has pledged, lent, provided guarantees, and provided tax relief to the tune of
$12,800 billion since 2008, and the collapse of the CDO market has produced $50,000 loss of value in fi-
nancial assets worldwide as of mid-2009.

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6 Doomsday Machine, first coined by Herman Kahn in the 1950s was a hypothetical $10 billion “device
whose only function is to destroy all of human life.” See Herman Kahn, On Thermonuclear War (Transac-
tional Publishers, 2007), 144. Assuming that the enemy knew you possessed a doomsday machine, under
the game of MAD, this should serve as a deterrence to attack. To the best of our knowledge, the U.S.
never set out to built a doomsday machine, and Kahn suggested it was a dumb idea to do so. However, in
the 1980s, the Soviets built a doomsday machine, Perimeter (Mertvaya Ruka, Dead Hand), in response to
President Reagan’s proposed Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, Star Wars) missile defense shield. The So-
viets interpreted SDI as a First Strike system. Perimeter was designed to launch a nation-killing attack on
the U.S. automatically in response to sensor readings of radiation and impacts on Soviet soil from U.S.
warheads. First operational in 1985, the system is still live according to some knowledgeable military
sources. The Soviets kept Perimeter a secret from the U.S. and did not consider it a deterrent to a First
Strike by the U.S. Instead, Perimeter was thought of as a fail-safe system for their own military to relax
the need to launch-on-warning as even if Central Command was wiped out, Perimeter would take over.
Thus, survivability of command structures were no longer important to retaliate. See Nicholas Thomp-
son, “Inside the Apocalyptic Soviet Doomsday Machine,” Wired Magazine 17.10 at
http://www.wired.com/print/politics/security/magazine/17-10/m..

7 See “Do Nukes Make Us Safer?” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/20228926/.

8 Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) is an analytical process that begins with two system design counter-
factuals: (1) the magnitude (severity) of the potential adverse consequences of system failures; and (2) the
likelihood (probability) of the occurrence of each potential consequence. The objective is not as a predic-
tive exercise, but as a disciplined descriptive process that may identify and highlight budget require-
ments for a secure national cyberspace environment.

9 See “The Doomsday Machine Disarmament Accord” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/19772476/.

10 See “Insurability - Managing Systemic Risk” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/19733515/.

11 President-elect Barack Obama, September 10, 2008, Arms Control Today 2008 Presidential Q&A, avail-
able at http://www.armscontrol.org/print/3360 (accessed 2/27/09).

12 Lifting the nuclear shadow: Creating the conditions for abolishing nuclear weapons, Foreign & Commonwealth
Office, available at: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/fco-in-action/counter-terrorism/ weapons/nuclear-
weapons/nuclear-paper/#

13 Italio Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (1979) in William Poundstone, Prisoner’s Dilemma (New
York: Doubleday, 1992), 53.

14 Underneath, its a capital allocation problem that demands to be solved. Either we allocate capital to
make the world safer for sustainable economic growth, or we destroy our future opportunity for eco-
nomic growth. The objective should not be to 'win' a game where all parties are worse off by playing the
game and 'winning' may not have any physical representation (i.e. if humanity is extinct from the earth,
does it matter who 'wins' the conflict, however that may be imagined?).

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15 Such a project, to be successful would draw on the intellectual capabilities of many different types of
minds to solve this dilemma. We invented the nuclear deterrence game. We invented nonproliferation as
a means to address the risks of nonproliferation. Neither strategy is working. It is time for us to invent a
new game.

16 Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Cambridge, MA & London: The Belknap Press
of Harvard University Press, 2002), 613.

17Emergence “refers to ‘the arising of novel and coherent structures, patterns and properties during the
process of self-organization in complex systems.’ The common characteristics are: (1) radical novelty (fea-
tures not previously observed in systems); (2) coherence (meaning integrated wholes that maintain them-
selves over some period of time); (3) A global or macro ‘level’ (i.e. there is some property of ‘wholeness’);
(4) it is the product of a dynamical process (it evolves); and (5) it is ostensive - it can be perceived” (Wikipe-
dia).

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18Both scientific materialism and Christianity, under modernity, has a difficult time with History in that
what underlies a philosophy of history is the premise of progress, as defined by humanocentrism. In the
most radical break with this underlying notion of progress, either as determined by God or by human
technology and ingenuity, is Charles Darwin’s (1802-1889) theory of evolution (1859): ‘It may be said that
natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slight-
est; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever
and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and
inorganic conditions of life. We see nothing of these slow changes in progress, until the hand of time has
marked long lapse of ages.’*

Darwin’s theory was itself a blow to William Paley (1743–1805) and British Functionalism in its praise of
“God in the details of design” where we can learn “important aspects of God’s nature and character from
the works of creation:” ‘The marks of design are too strong to be got over. Design must have a designer.
That designer must have been a person. That person is God.’ [“His Evidences of Christianity (1794) re-
mained a required text for entrance to Cambridge University until the 20th century.”]

Paley used the image of a fine watch to make two points: (a) complexity: natural history is too complex;
chance could never result in anything so intricate; and (b) design: natural history is adapted “toward a
clearly perceived end.” “The watch implies, by its utility, a mind capable of forethought, design, and con-
struction.... ‘The thing required is the intending mind, the adapting hand, the intelligence by which the
hand was directed.’”

Darwin’s, by now irrefutable, objections to Paley’s intelligent watchmaker (resurfacing today as Intelli-
gent Design - ID) utilizes: (a) Charles Lyell’s (1797-1875) uniformitarianism that posits History occurring
over very long reaches of time. Thus, natural selection can occur by “small, isotropic, nondirectional
variation.” Essentially, trial and error replaces intelligent purpose; (b) natural selection acts at the level of
the individual; and (c) using Adam Smith’s paradox of laissez-faire, it is individual’s struggling for them-
selves alone that drives natural selection. [What is interesting is that this principle works in the natural
world but has been demonstrated again and again to be less applicable to the world of economics.] These
are the mechanisms that construct the “entire panoply of vast evolutionary change by cumulating its
small increments through the fullness of geologic time.” God does not appear in History the way Paley
imagined and History does not represent progress the way many scientific materialists and Christians
would like to believe. Agency within History has shifted “from a purposefully benevolent deity to the
amoral self-interest of organisms.” This may be the “most distinctive and radical aspect of Darwinism.”

* Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Cambridge, MA & London: The Belknap Press
of Harvard University Press, 2002), 94-5, 123-4, 125, 262-3, 264-5, 596.

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19 Humanocentrism, for example, in the Star Wars films (1977- 2005) written and directed by George Lucas,
was illustrated in terms of Human High Culture that was represented as an ideal or high point of
achievement in the Galactic Empire. Thus, the Empire’s subsequent genocide and slavery of aliens was
entirely justifiable, as these non-human beings were merely aliens. This humanocentrism on the part of
the Empire is one of the reasons for the rebels, led by Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and
Chewbacca, etc. to oppose and attempt to bring down the Empire. Today, humanocentrism is played out
especially in economic cost/benefit analyses that discount loss of species diversity and/or ecosystem
services as having little or no value compared with the monetized benefits accruing directly to specific
power elite (in their impunity) or national groups. This has resulted in many dis-economic decisions over
how to manage national economies for a sustainable future.

20 Michael S. Northcott, The Environment and Christian Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
2001), 70.

21 Northcott, 57.

22 Northcott, 76.

23 “Nature’s fate and humanity’s fate are closely intertwined.” See Carolyn Merchant, Reinventing Eden:
The Fate of Nature in Western Culture (New York: Routledge, 2004), 2-3, 246.

24 Unclassified report by Department of Defense planner Andrew Marshall and Peter Schwartz, “An
Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security” (October 2003).

25 John Nash showed that John von Neumann’s minimax theorem also applied to non zero sum, non coop-
erative games. Cooperative games means that players can form coalitions where each other knows the
other’s strategy beforehand. Non cooperative games involve each player formulating their strategy with-
out each player knowing the other’s strategy. Even though this is the case, there is a way of playing the
game rationally where each player will have no regrets at the outcome. They would not do anything dif-
ferently, given how the other party played the game (Poundstone, 96-99).

26 Nuclear fusion weapons even today remain potentially the most destructive weapons ever invented
and the greatest threat to global security. See Lifting the nuclear shadow: Creating the conditions for abolishing
nuclear weapons, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK.

27 This follows from von Neumann’s minimax theorem that as long as the two rational players’ interests are
completely opposed, they can settle on a rational course of action going forward in a zero sum game. An
equilibrium is forced by an interplay between self interest and mistrust and a strategy can be devised for
playing the game where there are no regrets, no matter what each player ultimately choses for game
moves (Poundstone, 97).

28 A game defined by a strategy whereby one is rewarded for cheating, but if the other party also cheats,
both players will be worse off than if they had cooperated (Poundstone, 120-1).

29 At the height of the Cold War, parts and supplies for 75,000 fusion nuclear weapons existed.

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30 Some historians of the Cold War (1950-91) like John Gaddis believe that Nuclear Deterrence was a
smart strategy. The argument goes that since no nuclear holocaust occurred during the fifty years of the
Cold War, Nuclear Deterrence worked. It was a smart strategy. Was instead the massive amounts of capi-
tal spent to manage an inherently unstable game, human fortitude, and/or just plain dumb luck that pre-
vailed instead? See John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (New York: The Penguin Group,
2007).

31 Nuclear war “cannot be won and cannot be fought” (attributed to President Ronald Reagan). Today it is
conceivable for a poorly thought-out strategic policy choice, the result of which makes a nuclear terror
attack more probable, that could produce circumstances whereby, for example, instead of global GDP go-
ing from $60 to $240 trillion (in $2005 purchasing power parity) by 2050, it declines to $6 trillion (global
GDP estimate is from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency).

32 All systems have a tipping point, a set of stresses (an overload beyond a threshold rate of change of in-
puts) beyond which they breakdown (loose complexity and cease to function within normal ranges) and
sometimes collapse (recovery is uncertain) or suffer deep collapse (multiple systems experience synchro-
nous failure when systems are tightly coupled). As failure proceeds, moments of contingency arise.

33 The first globalization was during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

34 See Kurt Campbell, et. al., The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider Their Nuclear Choices (Wash-
ington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004).

35 National Security Council, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, available at
www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.pdf (accessed 9/19/04); National Security Council, National Strategy to
Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, December 2002, available at www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases
2002/12/WMDStrategy.pdf (accessed 9/19/04), 1.

36 Progress is measured primarily by “(a) buildings or warhead sites where particular types of U.S. -spon-
sored security and accounting upgrades have been completed, and (b) buildings or sites where the poten-
tial nuclear bomb material has been removed entirely, eliminating the risk from that location.” See Mat-
thew Bunn, Securing the Bomb 2008, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy
School, Harvard University; commissioned by The Nuclear Threat Initiative (November 2008), 89 and
Chapter 3: pp. 89-114.

37 NYT article on May 28th, “Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Wars in Cyberspace.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/us/politics/29cyber.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

38 Remember that Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) is only an analytical process that begins with two
system design counterfactuals: (1) the magnitude (severity) of the potential adverse consequences of sys-
tem failures; and (2) the likelihood (probability) of the occurrence of each potential consequence. The ob-
jective is not as a predictive exercise, but as a disciplined descriptive process that may identify and high-
light budget requirements for a secure National Defense strategic policy. The objective of PRA is thus to
better understand the decision-space, NOT to predict the future. The future is not something that can be
foreseen with any degree of specificity using any technique, be it analytical, wishful thinking, or hope.
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39 Gen. Kevin Chilton, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, said “I think you don’t take any response op-
tions off the table from an attack on the United States of America,” Chilton said. “Why would we con-
strain ourselves on how we respond?.... “I think that’s been our policy on any attack on the United States
of America.... “And I Don’t see any reason to treat cyber any differently.” (“U.S. General Reserves Right to
Use Force, Even Nuclear, in Response to Cyber Attack,” Global Security Newswire May
12, 2009).
With cyber weapons, there presently is no countervailing strategic game doctrine for deterrence, like MAD
(mutual assured destruction), that has the potential to ‘deter’ First Use. The notion that the doctrine of
nuclear deterrence can be retrofited and used to deter cyber attacks is absurd. Because deterrence doctrine
threats can be initiated easily by privatized transnational groups, without the knowledge of national gov-
ernments by rogue elements within the state, and the originating location of the attack readily masked
and even transposed to a predetermined DNS, the threat of nuclear Armageddon in response appears
both unwarranted and unproductive.

40W. H. Auden, “For the Time Being,” in W. H. Auden, Collected Longer Poems (New York: Random House,
1969), 138 quoted in John Dominic Crossan, The Dark Interval: Towards a Theology of Story (Polebridge
Press, 1988), 39.

41 Nuclear deterrence as a concrete activity suggests that we may have objectified and reified this activity
and turned it into an aberrant life-game. We have changed our world-picture to include nuclear deterrence
as a central aspect, almost a doctrine, for how we view reality. This is new post-1950 and the advent of
nuclear weapons technology.

42 Games of importance played against one or more opponents that have non-trivial outcomes (i.e. life or
death).

43 World-picture, according to Ludwig Wittgenstein, might be thought of as a frame or framework through


which we look to discern what is real and what is not, and what is important, from our vantage point.
Ultimately, this looking creates a picture of the world that we use to decipher new data. New data needs
to fit this picture. It must make sense within our world-picture. Otherwise, new data (ideas, experiences,
paradigms) are nonsense, even though they are real in a larger sense.

44 Used in this context, Others are the opponent(s), in all his/her manifestations, in a game. Other de-
scribes someone different than our self and our preferred reference group. Otherness is typically perceived
as a symptom “of godlessness and degeneration.” Others are those who inhabited the camps of Ausch-
witz and the Gulag. Others are those whom the modern state wages genocide, the “categorical killing” of
those who are classified as Other. See Zygmunt Bauman, “A Century of Camps? (1995)” in Peter Beilhartz,
ed., The Bauman Reader (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2001), 277, 280.

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45 Game theory has been used to formally describe nuclear deterrence after Merrill Flood and Melvin
Dresser described the prisoner’s dilemma to refute John von Neumann’s minimax preventive war strategy
where “America should seize the moment and establish a world government through nuclear blackmail
or surprise attack.” Herman Kahn then used this idea of a prisoner’s dilemma to refine what became the
deterrence strategy for both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. until 1991, Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). See
William Poundstone, Prisoner’s Dilemma (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 4 and Joel Watson, Strategy: An
Introduction to Game Theory, 2nd Edition (New York & London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2008), 3-24.

46 Language-games, from Ludwig Wittgenstein, highlights the reality that individual words and sentences
have different meanings and connotations based on context. Also, these meanings ‘evolve’ over time;
word and sentence meanings are not static but dynamic, requiring interpretation to convey meaning.

47 Quoted in Leonard Weiss, “Atoms for Peace.” The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (November/December
2003): 31-41 in Gordon Corera, Shopping for Bomb: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and
Fall of the A. Q. Khan Network (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), xi.

48 The concept of a doomsday event parallels Biblical mentions in Scripture of Armageddon, the end-times
and the Last Judgement; an end to the time that remains. In the Tanakh and Septuagint (LXX), the agency
of ‘The Destroyer’ was usually reserved for God or God’s avenging angel(s) (Exod. 12:23) but was also
used to designate a human agent of destruction (e.g. an individual, group, or nation; Job 15:21; Isa 21:2;
49:17; Jer 48:8, 15, 18; Rev 11:18). Abaddon (Heb. }a∑baddo®n) was used as a poetic synonym for the abode of
the dead (the ‘bottomless pit’) or place of destruction (Anchor Bible Dictionary). Adding machine to dooms-
day recognizes the fact that this doomsday event is of human invention and origin. The intent of a dooms-
day machine is a major disruption of human civilization, the extinction present life on the earth, especially
of human beings, and potentially even the cessation of the life-supporting capabilities of the earth for the
future. A large scale exchange of nuclear fusion weapons (‘the hydrogen bomb’) was first described by
Herman Kahn as a doomsday event. Thus, nuclear weapons collectively began to be thought of as a
doomsday machine. Scientific studies beginning in the 1980s and continuing through today concerning
the large scale exchange of hydrogen nuclear weapons suggest that such an doomsday event could ap-
proximate the devastation of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event (K-T extinction event) when a large
bolide collided with the earth 65.5 million years ago, resulting in the extinction of 75% of all known spe-
cies alive on the earth at that time (including virtually all the dinosaurs).

49 Michael A. Levi and Michael E. O’Hanlon, The Future of Arms Control (Washington, DC: Brookings Insti-
tution Press, 2005), 47.

50 The use of the term gold standard anticipates the intent of the Nuclear Gold Standard Act of 2008 (H.R.
3814) that Directs the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense to develop a
framework for a global alliance against nuclear terrorism that would incorporate the "gold standard" de-
veloped under this Act for the security of nuclear materials. In this context, “gold standard” comprises a
formal set of verifiable and enforceable standards to which all U.S. and Russian nuclear materials shall be
secured and against which inspectors can test ("gold standard").

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51 This author is not aware of studies that have developed estimates of the probability of a successful nu-
clear terrorist attack, given different levels of nonproliferation spending and the speed at which certain
nonproliferation objectives are met. This might be one of the first requirements for a strategic analysis
where such “Critical analysis is not just an evaluation of the means employed, but of all possible means -
which first have to be formulated, that is, invented.” See Carl von Clausewitz, On War, edited and trans-
lated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), 161.

52 Levi and O’Hanlon, 48.

53 President Ronald Reagan at a 1985 Geneva summit.

54 See Speeches at ISDA, Natwar Singh, India and the NPT (March 28, 2005) New Delhi available at
http://www.idsa.in/speeches_at_idsa/NatwarSingh280305.htm (accessed 3/4/09).

55 For example, an argument can be made that the arms race between the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R.
between 1946 and 1991 cost the world $45,000 billion (in current dollars). Global military spending has
averaged about $1,000 billion a year in constant dollars since WWII, give or take a few hundred billion
dollars each year. The point is that this is a very, very large amount of capital allocated for keeping the
world safe from aggression, all the while starving investments in freshwater availability, wastewater
treatment, soil conservation, food availability, climate change preparedness, development of renewable
energy, etc. An interesting game theory question is whether this amount of money was required to avoid
all out nuclear war because the Nuclear Deterrence game was so inherently unstable.

56 See below for a description of this strategic risk management game strategy.

57 For example, Mr Shamshad Ahmed, foreign secretary of Pakistan in 1998, who has been a staunch sup-
porter of the bomb, observed recently, ‘If we were not a nuclear power, our fate would have been worse
than that of Afghanistan’s.’ That is, citizens of other countries “are told that a nuclear-armed power is safe
from an attack by foreign powers because of the danger of the nuclear conflagration it poses.” See Zu-
beida Mustafa, “How many ‘bombs’ will deter?” Dawn.com (27 May, 2009) at http://www.
dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/ news/pakistan/16-how-many-bombs-
will-deter-hs-16.

58 Nuclear Deterrence may be obsolete in a world with 8 nuclear states possessing ready parts and supplies
for 12,000 nuclear weapons, 40 states capable of going nuclear at anytime, and nuclear proliferation with
enough HEU for building 240,000 nuclear weapons in the future.

59 We already have cyber weapons (some built, some not built but technically possible and affordable
even by non-state privatized agents) that, given current cyber system infrastructure cannot be practicably
defended against. What many people do not realize is that these KMD (knowledge-enabled mass destruc-
tion) weapons have almost as much destructive potential as conventional WMD, as to their affect the
national/global economy. So, even if we make the capital investments to upgrade the national cyber in-
frastructure to radically reduce the system’s risk profile, there is still a remainder of risk that cannot be
adequately managed at an affordable cost. A portion of this remainder risk may be addressed through
cyber weapons/system protective nonproliferation treaties and agreements.
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60 The proliferation of nuclear power globally does not help nuclear nonproliferation objectives. For ex-
ample, Russia's State nuclear energy company, Rosatom, has provided 80 tons of low-enriched uranium
(LEU) manufactured into fuel assemblies to Iran for use in that country’s Bushehr reactor, according to
Atomstroyexport, the Russian contractor building the reactor. Now, Rosatom will supply LEU from virgin
uranium directly to United States utilities rather than through the United States Enrichment Corporation
(USEC) that was previously given the monopoly by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to sell diluted,
or blended-down, Russian weapons-grade uranium processed by Rosatom. See ANDREW E. KRAMER
and MATTHEW L. WALD, “Russian Uranium Sale to U.S. Is Planned,” Wall Street Journal (May 25, 2009)
at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/world/europe/26russia.html ?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss.

61 For example, scientists from MIT have published peer-reviewed results in the Journal of Climate showing
a 90% probability of global temperature will rise as much as 7.4 degrees Celsius, more than twice the pre-
vious projection from 2003 unless there is "rapid and massive action" on reducing global carbon emis-
sions. "A 7.4C rise would mean severe ecosystem collapse worldwide, with total economic collapse in
many parts of the world. The planet would face resource wars between people, and you can safely say
many, many hundred of millions of people would die." Present estimates are that the morbidity of as
many as two billion people are presently at risk. See http://www.desmogblog.com/ mit-researchers-
unveil-climate-roulette-wheel.

62 A forcing function is the process that moves a dynamical system from one state to another state. An in-
teresting game theory question is whether this amount of capital was productively spent to avoid nuclear
war between the USSR and the U.S. or was it, instead, necessary to spend this amount because deterrence
strategy based on Nuclear Deterrence was inherently unstable?

63 See Kurt Campbell, et. al., The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider Their Nuclear Choices (Wash-
ington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004). The U.S. 2003 preventive war in Iraq only served to ce-
ment this new incarnation of Nuclear Deterrence strategy. Director General of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBa-
radei, in a Guardian interview published Thursday 14 May 2009 indicated “that the current international
regime limiting the spread of nuclear weapons was in danger of falling apart under its own inequity”
resulting in the number of potential nuclear weapons states doubling in a few years “unless the major
powers take radical steps towards disarmament.”

Also, “Concerns about North Korean weapons proliferation were heightened recently with Pyongyang's
underground test of a nuclear weapon and several short-range missile launches. Sales of short- and
medium-range missile systems remain among North Korea's largest export earners, part of an arms trade
that generates $1.5 billion annually for Pyongyang.... North Korea's arms trade has focused on Iran and
Syria, countries Washington views as state sponsors of terrorism, as well as Libya. Officials say North
Korean arms have also been sold to nations allied with the U.S., such as Egypt and Pakistan, and to the
military regime in Myanmar.” See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124347081988160711.html? mod=go-
oglenews_wsj.

64 Levi and O’Hanlon, 48.

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65 A zero sum game always has winners and losers as the size of the pie is fixed; one person’s gain is an-
other’s loss. A non zero sum game is a game where either party’s interests are not completely opposed as
one player’s optimal strategy may also benefit the opposing player. In non-zero-sum games all parties
may lose by playing the game. (Poundstone, 51-2, 97-99).

66 A game state where it is impossible for the player to win the game. The only options are restarting the
game or stopping and deciding to play another game with different rules. Playing an unwinnable game is
a zombie situation (Wikipedia).

67 See Richard Wilson and Edmund A. C. Crouch, Risk-Benefit Analysis, Harvard Press, Cambridge, MA,
2001; Martin E. Hellman, “Risk Analysis of Nuclear Deterrence,” The Bent of Tau Beta Pi, The Engineering
Honor Society (Spring 2008) 14-22; Martin Hellman, “Soaring, Cryptography and Nuclear Weapons” (Oc-
tober 21, 2008) at http://nuclearrisk.org/soaring_article.php.

68 As one example of a possible early step, Russia and the United States each have thousands of nuclear
weapons, whereas a few hundred could more than deter any rational actor and no number will deter an
irrational one. Either side could therefore reduce its nuclear arsenal with little to no loss in national secu-
rity, even if the other side did not immediately reciprocate. Considering the growing specter of nuclear
terrorism, a reduced nuclear arsenal could even enhance national security by lessening the chance for
theft or illicit sale of a weapon.

69 An account of the ‘meaning’ of the situation is in no way ‘given,’ but must be ‘constructed’ in light of
the system of interests revealed as the policy-maker addresses issues of contingency and particularity re-
lated to the crisis situation engendered by the treat of nuclear deterrence. See Paul H. Ballard, “Pastoral
Theology as Theology of Reconciliation,” Theology 91, 1988, 375 quoted in Anthony C. Thiselton, New Ho-
rizons in Hermeneutics (London: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1992), 556, 562.

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