A comparison of U.S. nuclear weapons policy during the cold war and in the post-cold war era

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Bursa Uludağ University, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Deniz Sporrer



The nuclear strategies of Massive Retaliation and Flexible Response which have been developed during the Cold War, have been tested many times during the crises between the USA and the USSR. This thesis focuses on the nuclear strategies of the USA and the application of these strategies during the crises. In the time of the Cold War during which the USA and the USSR have added new and various weapons to their nuclear arsenals, the nuclear arming race reaches threatening levels and mutual destruction was ensured in the event of a nuclear war. Steps were started to be taken with regards to the limitation of nuclear weapons between the USA and the USSR as these weapons have been brought to the verge of a nuclear war with the Cuban Missile Crisis. With the Cold War coming to an end, the risk of a nuclear war decreased and facing the new threats, nuclear weapons were handled as an impractical mean. The conclusion of the Cold War resulted in a series of changes in the nuclear policies and security strategies of the USA. This research examines the post-Cold War nuclear strategies of the USA with the help of the Nuclear Posture Reviews (NPR) of the US presidents. Furthermore, this thesis aims to compare and contrast the nuclear weapon policy of the USA with the period and the post-period of the Cold War. This study highlights the position of nuclear weapons in the security strategies of the USA and emphasizes the significance of nuclear deterrence. Moreover, this research is pivotal in understanding at which points the Cold War period nuclear strategies of the USA during the Cold War period share a resemblance with the ones in the post-Cold War period.