The Non-State Dimensions of Nuclear Command, Control, Communications
Gary A. Ackerman
In another installment of NC3 profiles, we take a look at a topic that has received very little attention, but is one that demands careful consideration. The combination of the organizational dynamics of Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) and the behavioral traits of violent non-state actors. The inherent aspects of these dynamics introduce complexities surrounding violent non-state actors (VNSA) NC3 postures.
In this essay, Dr. Gary Ackerman introduces how violent non-state actors (VSNAs) may approach the command and control of nuclear weapons. He suggests that understanding the complexity presented by VNSA NC3 entails considering “traditional concepts of state NC3 (such as the always/never dilemma) and dynamics that are unique to non-state actors driven by a variety of goals and confronting a different set of constraints from those of states.” He concludes that: “it is possible to derive preliminary indications of likely NC3 postures on the part of VNSAs”.download pdf