Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, relating to, or constituting a nuclear-weapons force able to withstand nuclear attack and therefore capable of delivering a retaliatory attack.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • For decades, nuclear experts have understood that the key to "winning" a nuclear exchange is to have an effective second-strike capability, which in turn requires both a sizable and survivable force.

    How Many Nukes Does China Have?

  • The evidence suggests that Pakistan is trying to develop a second-strike nuclear capability.

    Olli Heinonen: Pakistan in Nuclear Upswing

  • "Commissioning of additional plutonium-production reactors and further construction of reprocessing capabilities signify that Pakistan may even be developing second-strike capabilities," said Heinonen, now a senior fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

    Nuclear experts say Pakistan may be building 4th plutonium reactor

  • In addition, Iran lacks second-strike capability and Israel is too small to absorb a nuclear attack.

    Containment Won't Work Against Iran

  • We need ballistic-missile defenses, but President Obama is rapidly scaling down U.S. missile-defense programs—so our need for an INF-range second-strike capability is acute.

    A Cold War Missile Treaty That's Doing Us Harm

  • The point of such steps, Gen. Xu wrote, is "to really possess, and to convince the other side that it faces an intolerable second-strike nuclear capability, thereby deterring an enemy from using nuclear weapons against us."

    Beijing Defends Buildup of Its Nuclear Arsenal

  • But if a couple of the big boys with second-strike capability (say, Pakistan and India, or China and India, or Iran and Israel, or Iran and Israel and the US, or Iran and everybody else) go at it, then some of those nukes are getting through.

    Patrick Stephenson: The 21st Century's Gonna Suck Big-Time

  • But if a couple of the big boys with second-strike capability (say, Pakistan and India, or China and India, or Iran and Israel, or Iran and Israel and the US, or Iran and everybody else) go at it, then some of those nukes are getting through.

    The 21st Century's Gonna Suck Big-Time

  • The best chance of assuring second-strike capability comes from a submarine-based deterrent, and that is exactly what New Delhi has slowly and unevenly been pursuing over the years.

    India's Nuclear Example

  • Ultimately, a no-first-use policy can be credible only if it is accompanied by what security wonks like to call an "assured second-strike capability."

    India's Nuclear Example

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