Accession Number:



U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy: Considering "No First Use"

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

Congressional Research Service

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



On April 15, 2021, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Adam Smith introduced legislation that declared, It is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first. Other Members of Congress are divided on this issue. Senator Dianne Feinstein has argued that the only moral use for U.S. nuclear weapons is as a deterrent to their use. Senator Deb Fischer, on the other hand, has said that the proposal betrays a naive and disturbed world view. President Biden has spoken, in the past, about his support for a sole purpose policy for nuclear weapons, which some see as similar to no first use, but the President has not yet taken steps to review or alter U.S. nuclear policy.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Nuclear Warfare

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]