Strategic Deterrence: Capabilities for Options in Nuclear Security and Space Resilience

Strategic deterrence is a key component of US national defense, and it is embodied in two of the Strategic Objectives of the Laboratory Agenda. The global landscape is evolving rapidly, and LANL must remain at the forefront in its ability to provide cutting-edge technical support to the Nation.

This SIC has three interrelated components:

  • Systems Analysis Organization. This organization is charged with initiating and leading system studies. This capability should be based on an understanding of the strategic environment and result in options for effectively exploiting opportunities and managing risks in the mission space of the Laboratory. It also includes net assessments of outcomes after interaction with adversary capabilities. This component will inform item (2), and it also has synergy with spaced-based capabilities in item (3). 
  • Development and analysis of new concepts. This will leverage item (1) and involves analyses of hypotheses and concepts, and analyses directed to “proof of principle.”
  • Space resilience. Capabilities for sensing, nuclear power, and accelerators, building on the 2020 LANL Integrated Space Strategy and work in item (1).

By investing in these components, LANL will build new important capabilities in strategic deterrence, positioning LANL to remain a central national technical resource on assessing and anticipating the evolution of a complex global landscape.

This SIC supports the Critical Outcomes in integrated deterrence, threat reduction, computational & AI breakthroughs, and system technology modernization.