United States Air Force Academy

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Institute for National Security Studies

A B-21 in a hanger.
The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) was established at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1992 to advance research and education on strategic policy issues. Its core mission is to promote a better understanding of the nuclear aspects of competition and conflict in the 21st century, although INSS has historically sponsored work on a broad range of national security and WMD-related topics. It aims to prepare current and future US leaders to meet the evolving requirements for strategic stability and deterrence through independent and innovative scholarship, instruction, and outreach. INSS designs, leads, and delivers leading-edge, policy-relevant research and organizes workshops, strategic dialogues, and table-top exercises in support of Department of Defense sponsors. It is a core partner of the Academy’s Nuclear Weapons and Strategy Minor program and supports their broader education and leadership development goals.

  • Strategic stability, deterrence, and allied assurance
  • US nuclear weapons policy and capabilities
  • Analysis of adversary strategic arsenals, operational concepts, and doctrines
  • Arms control, threat reduction, and WMD proliferation
  • Integrated deterrence concepts
  • China’s Strategic Arsenal: Worldview, Doctrine, and Systems
  • Arms Control in a New Era of Great Power Competition
  • Alternative North Korean nuclear command and control arrangements: Implications for US deterrence and defense planning
  • The evolving requirements for extended deterrence and assurance in East Asia
  • After Ukraine: challenges and opportunities to strengthen regional deterrence in Eastern Europe
Contact Us

(719) 333-2717

Dr. Shane Smith, Director

Polly Holdorf, Program Support Specialist