The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote examining the W76-2 nuclear warhead and escalation risks:
The W76-2 low‐yield Trident warhead exists to counteract Russia’s escalate to deescalate (E2D) nuclear strategy, but an effective response to E2D may have very little to do with the composition of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The conventional warfighting strategies of both the U.S. and Russia have serious implications for both the risks and deterrence of limited first use of nuclear weapons. The interaction between conventional military strategy and nuclear escalation incentives is currently overlooked in most debates over the W76-2.
This must change. Policymakers and analysts alike need to seriously examine the nuclear escalation incentives stemming from modern conventional warfare. Doing so will improve the ability to both deter conventional conflict and prevent one from spiraling out of control.
The rest of the article can be found in CBNW magazine, 2020 issue 2: https://cbnw.co.uk/magazine/2020–2/