Nuclear Deterrence

This calculator allows you to assess whether the cost of a nuclear deterrent is worth it, given assumptions about the cost and probability of nuclear war.

The values that you see already in each input box are based on an analysis of the costs of revitalize the US nuclear deterrent and a limited nuclear war. The rationale behind all inputs is available here.

Change the values as you see fit for this scenario, or analyze a completely different scenario.

Once you've filled in the assumptions and hit "Calculate," a table will populate with the total cost of a war, the total cost of deterrence or lack thereof, the expected number of wars, the expected number of deaths, and the difference in present value of deterrence versus using deterrence funds on an alternative investment.


Number of strikes on American cities:
Total cost incurred per strike: $ billion (infrastructure and output)
Lives lost in a single strike:
Monetary Value of a Life: $ million
Cost to Deter: $ billion per year (The cost to maintain a nuclear arsenal)
Annual Chance of War W/O Deterrence: %
Annual Chance of War W/ Deterrence: %
Alternative Investment Return (infrastructure, education, research): %
Defense-Specific Inflation Rate:
# of iterations you'd like to run: (If you are unfamiliar with Monte Carlo simulations, leave this at 10000)
How long of a time period do you want to analyze?: years (The number of years you want your scenario to last)