Accession Number:

ADA402295

Title:

U. S. Nuclear Policy in the 21st Century: A Fresh Look at National Strategy and Requirements

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR COUNTERPROLIFERATION RESEARCH

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1998-07-01

Pagination or Media Count:

26.0

Abstract:

Sweeping changes are occurring in the international system, presenting the United States with both opportunities and challenges. The East-West strategic rivalry that dominated the global security environment for over forty years has been fundamentally and, in a number of critical ways, irreversibly altered. Yet the world continues to be unpredictable and dangerous. Relations with Russia and China have improved dramatically in the last ten years but remain uncertain. Both states continue to emphasize and modernize their nuclear arsenals. In other regions of vital interest to the United States, potential adversaries increasingly have at their disposal advanced conventional and unconventional capabilities, as well as weapons of mass destruction and the means for their delivery. Together, these and other factors, such as the ongoing revolution in military technology, have engendered major adjustments in U.S. national security policy and in the strategy and forces that support U.S. security interests. A series of U.S. government analyses, including the Nuclear Posture Review and the Quadrennial Defense Review, has guided the restructuring of U.S. conventional forces and provided the basis for the late 1997 Presidential Decision Directive on nuclear weapons policy. Further analyses and adjustments will certainly follow. As a contribution to this dynamic process, this report assesses the rationale and requirements for U.S. nuclear weapons, and the infrastructure and people that are critical to their sustainment, in the current and future security environment. By so doing, the report is intended to promote greater understanding of the issues and the measures that will be necessary to sustain deterrence in an uncertain future. The American public and its leadership in both the Executive and Legislative branches must remain informed, involved, and supportive. Absent concerted and continuing high-level attention to the policies and programs supporting its nuclear forces, 7

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Nuclear Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE