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You Make My Subs Go Boom Boom Boom


USS Maryland (SSBN 738)
USS Maryland (SSBN 738). Public Domain, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Some more thoughts on China’s developing boomer force at the National Interest:

How vulnerable are China’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs, or boomers), and what does that vulnerability mean for US strategy?

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has devoted considerable time and expense to developing a maritime nuclear deterrent. The United States Navy, on the other hand, has forty years of experience in hunting down Russian boomers. Chinese boomers present no major problem.

But the paradox of nuclear weapons is that one player’s insecurity can make the other player less secure. If the United States can credibly threaten the Chinese nuclear deterrent, Beijing’s paranoia might become more risk acceptant, rather than less. This makes the decision to exploit the vulnerability of China’s boomers fraught with danger.

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