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strategic deterrence & nuclear programs

research, Wargaming & Tools 

Deep Expertise


NSRI has delivered important contributions to military and civilian leaders working toward strategic deterrence. Our efforts include:

  • Nuclear education
  • Escalation dynamics research
  • Tabletop exercises
  • Decision support tools
  • High-performance materials research
  • Advanced manufacturing of components
  • Conceptual nuclear weapon design
  • Survivability of forces
  • NC3 research
  • Electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO) research
  • Deterrence policy requirements


NSRI helps to strengthen nuclear security by conducting research for U.S. government agencies in the areas of:

  • Weapon and material security
  • Proliferation technology detection
  • Nuclear nonproliferation

Additional research in the area of nuclear counterterrorism includes:

  • Detection of special nuclear material
  • Radiological material characterization
  • Rapidly deployable nuclear sensors
  • Hazard modeling research
  • Medical countermeasure research in cases of radiological exposure


Though the geopolitical environment for diplomacy has been unfavorable recently, arms control remains an essential tool for the U.S. to reduce nuclear risks to itself and its allies and partners.

To support our customers and sponsors, NSRI and the University of Nebraska research diplomatic and foreign engagement options in all areas of nuclear arms control, nonproliferation and verification.

Leading Capabilities

NSRI, with research faculty at the University of Nebraska, is poised to support the top national priority of strategic deterrence and risk reduction through a range of research areas.

Featured Work

NSRI researchers work across a broad range of activities to support agencies across the DOD and federal government. Here are just two recent examples of our work.

NSRI developed a series of novel tabletop wargames for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to help military leaders and decision makers explore nuclear escalation dynamics in the context of limited nuclear conflict. A “limited nuclear conflict” is the detonation of low-yield, non-strategic nuclear weapons in a tactical battle. The wargame illustrates how events along the Russian-Ukrainian border could unwittingly escalate into a limited nuclear conflict between Russia and the U.S. The wargame is available for leaders across the DOD and USG, provided by NSRI either in person or virtually. Inquire >

Time-sensitive research on future arms control options 

Through a series of research efforts and strategic intelligence projects, NSRI recently brought to bear expertise from the University of Nebraska, U.S. academia and the wider nonprofit and NGO community to provide the U.S. Department of State with extremely time-sensitive research on future arms control options: treaty architectures, core principles, national security implications, new technologies supporting treaty verification and foreign nuclear threat and treaty compliance assessments.

Recent Presentations

SMA STRATCOM Effort Speaker Session, "Challenges to 21st Century Deterrence," with Lt. Gen. (Ret) Robert Elder, PhD, George Mason University; Mr. James A. Siebens, Defense Strategy & Planning Program, Stimson Center; and Dr. Christopher Yeaw, National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska. December 9, 2021.

Hudson Institute hosted panel, "China’s Coercive Missile Strategy and the U.S. Response," with Hudson Senior Fellow Rebeccah L. Heinrichs, Dr. Mark Lewis, Dr. Christopher Yeaw, and Hudson Fellow Timothy A. Walton. January 12, 2022.

Team Leaders

NSRI's efforts in the research focus area of nuclear weapons enterprise support are led and executed by an experienced team former military and civilian leaders. In total, the team combines for several decades of experience supporting U.S. strategic deterrence and defense mission objectives.

We look forward to supporting your goals.

Chris Yeaw

Christopher Yeaw, Ph.D.

Associate Executive Director

Strategic Deterrence & Nuclear Programs

Adam Carlstrom

Adam Carlstrom, MBA

Research Director


Patrick Rhoads

Patrick Rhoads, MS

Research Director

Nuclear Enterprise Support

Allen Geist

Allen Geist, MAS


Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations (EMSO) Programs

Work With NSRI

As USSTRATCOM’s University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska provides an invaluable understanding of strategic deterrence and CBRNE-related requirements gaps. Our Institute’s rapid-response capabilities can help meet your research and solutions needs. Connect with us to find out what we can accomplish together.

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