The essential concept of DSNS or Descending Sequence Nuclear Strike is simple. A series of four to twelve nuclear or more likely thermonuclear explosions are sequentially triggered above an enemy city over a period of hours or days. Each explosion is referred to as a “unit detonation.” The first unit detonation might be triggered 100 km above the target city center. It would be followed by a slow series of further unit detonations more and more nearly approaching the city from above at intervals of one or two hours or more. The initial unit detonations are designed to force evacuation. A final warhead or grid of warheads would wholly destroy the now virtually deserted city. The complete series of unit detonations is referred to as a single strike.

It is assumed that the obvious approaching danger will force civilian evacuation regardless of any enemy government's desire to keep civilians in place as hostages to deter a strike.

Unit detonations are expected to be separated linearly in time and logarithmically in space. For example six detonations might take place at hourly intervals at 100km, 50km, 25km, 10km, 4km above the target city and then finally immediately above ground zero.

A DSNS strike can be said to be a deliberate inversion of the results of a neutron bomb detonation - neutron bombs are employed to kill without harming real estate, a DSNS strike is intended to cause immense damage to civilian installations with the relatively few casualties or deaths.

The effectiveness of Descending Sequence Nuclear Strikes derives from their capacity to leverage the technological advantages of developed countries in order to overawe intransigent nations not able to strike back on equal terms.

DSNS strike events are designed to accomplish the purposes of war without employing conventional forces, and without follow-on occupation. A DSNS allows punishment without commitment of ground forces, and without large concomitant civilian casualties which might outrage neutral or unengaged and nominally-allied nations.

DSNSs constitute one proposed reply to asymmetrical warfare, creating conditions of war favoring nations with the greatest technological prowess while limiting exposure to less technically sophisticated responses.

First public mention of DSNS occurred at No violations of the Patriot Act or Secrets Acts are to be inferred.