MR. FRANKLIN MILLER: I want to thank the Camden Partnership, the Camden Kings Bay Council of the Navy League and the Camden Country Chamber of Commerce, and Peter Huessy, for inviting me to appear at this breakfast. And my goal this morning is to start your day off right. Peter Huessy is surely an unsung hero in our campaign to keep our nuclear deterrent. In the current public debate in Washington on our nuclear deterrent is completely unbalanced and intellectually empty.
Last year's report by the Global Zero organization was built on faulty assumptions, questionable if not downright incorrect assertions, and dangerous recommendations. But you can't find a mainstream publication which ever seriously analyzed it. We are routinely subjected to stories sneeringly referring to our existing deterrent posture as Cold War-like. But no one steps forward to explain why, just maybe why, the nuclear deterrence equation in the 21st century may have to resemble that of the 20th century. But Peter, by keeping his speaker's series going, provides a forum where some small degree of balance can be introduced into the debate. So thank you for that, Peter.
Peter asked me to speak this morning about the challenges to maintaining strategic stability. And let me give you my views as a former American official, not as an academic, the view of a practitioner. I take strategic stability to mean the absence of state-to-state armed conflict involving any of our allies; the absence of overt military threats to the United States or our allies' vital interests; the absence of military or political blackmail against us or our allies; and finally, the management of regional security issues so that the risk of armed conflict is minimized to the maximum extent possible.
Please note, I did not use the word nuclear in any of the above. Nuclear stability, is a lesser included case, and it is critical to remember that. But nuclear weapons clearly still play a very critical role in allowing us to maintain strategic stability.
Our nuclear weapons serve to deter direct military attack by a major state power against us or our allies. They serve to deter nuclear blackmail or intimidation against the United States or our allies. They serve to moderate great power behavior. In essence, in crude terms, they serve to make war among the major powers too dangerous. Their purpose is to prevent war.