Director of Strategic Studies
Kurt Guthe is the Director of Strategic Studies at the National Institute for Public Policy. Before rejoining NIPP in May 2005, he was a senior analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where he researched and analyzed issues related to the future of nuclear weapons and the deterrence of conflict. In support of the Office of Net Assessment, he helped organize and summarize the findings of workshops on the possible consequences and implications of the next use of nuclear weapons and the tactics and tools for dissuading military competition. During leave from CSBA, he contributed to the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review and served in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Forces Policy. He also authored a CSBA study of the New Triad.
From 1985 to 2000, Mr. Guthe was a senior research analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy. At NIPP, he authored or coauthored reports on a range of topics. His work on strategic nuclear forces included studies of force sizing, the post-Cold War role of ballistic missile submarines, the military utility and crisis stability effects of different ICBM force mixes, and the significance of relocatable targets. He was the project manager and principal author of a study that examined nonnuclear strategic weapons with regard to national security objectives, possible missions, substitutability for nuclear weapons, potential enemy countermeasures, arms control restrictions, and Service plans. He also participated in two Defense Department Summer Studies, in the first, as a member of a working group on strategic forces, and in the second, as part of a working group on deterrence. In the area of long-range airpower, he authored a study of options for increasing the utility of the B-2 bomber for future warfare and wrote detailed critiques of government and other studies of the future of the bomber force. His studies of ballistic missile defense addressed BMD missions, allied views of missile defenses, and the role of the National Command Authorities in the command and control of a BMD system. With regard to arms control, he prepared reports on the effects of arms agreements on the strategic forces of the United States and the former Soviet Union, and on the history of the U.S. response to the illegal Krasnoyarsk radar. He also contributed to an analysis of how Chinese aggression against Taiwan might be deterred, and, for the Rumsfeld Commission, coauthored a working paper on the Chinese ballistic missile program.
In 1992, during a one-year leave of absence from NIPP, Mr. Guthe served on the staff of the Gulf War Air Power Survey. As a member of the Strategy and Plans Task Force, he prepared papers that discussed the policy objectives and constraints that shaped planning for the 1991 air campaign against Iraq and analyzed prewar plans to attack key targets (air defense sites, command-and-control centers, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile capabilities). As a member of the Operations and Effects Task Force, he assessed air interdiction operations against enemy lines of communications.
From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Guthe was on the senior professional staff of the Hudson Institute. There he analyzed long-range bomber missions, arms control measures, and the causes of instability in the strategic balance.
From 1978 to 1981, Mr. Guthe was a member of the research staff of the System Planning Corporation. His work at SPC included a study of civil defense and a critical review that traced the development of the concept of “flexibility” in U.S. nuclear weapons employment policy.
Mr. Guthe received an A.B. in Government from Harvard University in 1978.