Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications: U.S. Country Profile
For the past 75 years, Jeffrey Larsen argues that the deterrence forces of the United States have relied on the credible threat of nuclear weapons use to prevent adversarial attacks. As part of his explanation, a vital piece of the U.S. deterrence mission is ensuring NC3 provides the links between nuclear forces and presidential authority under all conditions. U.S. NC3 systems today face multiple challenges after more than two decades of neglect of its nuclear forces and NC3 infrastructure.
In this essay, Jeffrey Larsen reviews the legacy NC3 system of the United States now in the midst of a sea-change. He concludes: “The need to ensure robust existing capabilities for the current system, plus the desire to create a new system that is more than a simple modernization of existing capabilities, in a world facing more diverse threats, all while harnessing the value-added of new technologies, means that the NC3 system twenty years hence may bear little resemblance to its current arrangement.”download pdf