The implications of theater missile defense for United States national security in the post-Cold War world

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


International Studies

First Committee Member

Roger E. Kanet - Committee Chair


The need to reformulate classical deterrence theory was evaluated using case-study analysis that concentrated on the effects of active defenses, in terms of theater missile defense, on United States national security in the post-Cold War world. The two variables included were rational and irrational actors, and they were examined in their relation to the outcome of the United States' establishment of effective theater missile defenses for the purposes of both deterrence and defense and how that would alter the concept of deterrence. It was predicted that classical cold-War deterrence theory was outdated and needed to be revised in order to be both applicable and effective in the post-Cold War world, and that the establishment of active defenses would greatly assist in making post-Cold War deterrence successful. It was concluded that classical deterrence theory was, in fact, obsolete, that active defenses were necessary for the United States to maintain a credible deterrent, and that the establishment of theater missile defenses would productively achieve this goal.


American Studies; Political Science, International Law and Relations

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