The Nuclear Posture Review Debate

Introduction

The fiscal year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act mandated the U.S. Department of Defense to lead "a comprehensive review of the nuclear posture of the United States for the next 5 to 10 years."[2] Nearly two decades after the Cold War ended, the Barack Obama administration has begun to carry out the third subsequent assessment of the roles and missions for the U.S. nuclear forces and the associated production and maintenance infrastructure. The Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations completed their nuclear posture reviews (NPR) in 1994 and 2001, respectively.[3] (For an overview of the 2002 NPR, see the NTI issue brief by Charles Ferguson)

The 2009 NPR is viewed by many as an opportunity for significant progress on nuclear disarmament, energized by President Obama's joint commitment with his Russian counterpart, President Dmitriy Medvedev, to work toward a "nuclear-free world." Key policy determinations made during the review will also impact the implementation of Washington's ambitious arms control and nonproliferation agenda, which includes negotiation of a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) follow-on agreement as well as achievement of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and a favorable outcome at the 2010 review conference of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). However, fulfilling Obama's vision of reduced reliance on nuclear weapons is challenged by a lack of consensus in the policy-making community, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, and the public at large on the nuclear deterrent's role in ensuring U.S. security as well as that of its allies.

Reviewing the Nuclear Posture with an Eye towards Disarmament

In a landmark April 5, 2009, speech in Prague, President Obama stated that "as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act" to bring about "the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."[4] He also proclaimed that:

    "... the United States will take concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons. To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same. Make no mistake: As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies.... But we will begin the work of reducing our arsenal."[5]

The president's Prague speech provides the "great strategic framework" for the reassessment of the U.S. nuclear posture, currently carried out by the Department of Defense. [6] The review is being carried out with an eye "to ensure that our nuclear policies help deter our enemies, reassure our allies and also further our nonproliferation agenda," a senior military official stated in April 2009.[7] Legislative language stipulates that the administration submit a report to Congress in 2009 on the following issues:

"1) The role of nuclear forces in United States military strategy, planning, and programming;
2) the policy requirements and objectives for the United States to maintain a safe, reliable, and credible nuclear deterrence posture;
3) the relationship among United States nuclear deterrence policy, targeting strategy, and arms control objectives;
4) the role that missile defense capabilities and conventional strike forces play in determining the role and size of nuclear forces;
5) the levels and composition of the nuclear delivery systems that will be required for implementing the United States national and military strategy, including any plans for replacing or modifying existing systems;
6) the nuclear weapons complex that will be required for implementing the United States national and military strategy, including any plans to modernize or modify the complex; and
7) the active and inactive nuclear weapons stockpile that will be required for implementing the United States national and military strategy, including any plans for replacing or modifying warheads."[8]

According to a senior state department official, the NPR's "first step" involved "develop[ment of] a nuclear force structure and posture for use in the negotiations" of the successor agreement to START I, a 1991 U.S.-Russian arms control pact that will expire in December of this year.[9] (For background on START, see the NTI issue brief by Nikita Perfilyev; for an update, see Anya Loukianova and Miles Pomper, "Obama's Moscow Visit Highlights Both Progress and Obstacles in U.S.-Russian Nuclear Relations," CNS Feature Story, July 10, 2009.)

Republicans in Congress have expressed concern that the administration, which would like to conclude a START follow-on agreement by December, is planning to do so before the results of the posture review are available.[10] However, a Department of Defense fact sheet released in August stated that, in order "to ensure that the U.S. negotiating positions are fully consistent with ongoing NPR analysis," the START successor agreement negotiations and drafting of the NPR have been "closely coordinated."[11] In addition, an August 2009 Department of Defense fact sheet stated that, "Alternative postures and force structures are being analyzed in this NPR to address other possible futures including security environments in which relations with Russia dramatically improve, implications if the START follow-on treaty does not enter into force and if reset of the U.S.-Russian relationship does not continue."[12]

In any case, senior administration officials have indicated that the NPR will guide the way for post-2010 bilateral negotiations on "deeper reductions." Said Rose Gottemoeller, assistant secretary of state for verification, compliance, and implementation and chief U.S. START negotiator, "I think it is a quite sensible approach because the nuclear posture review will take a very careful view of all aspects of nuclear doctrine and strategy."[13]

A Daunting Bureaucratic Challenge

Despite the stated centrality of Obama's vision of a "nuclear-free world," the nuclear posture options devised during the review will be an outcome of an elaborate interagency process. According to a June 2009 Department of Defense fact sheet, the NPR "will embrace a 'whole of government' approach." The office of the under secretary of defense for policy and the joint staff are jointly responsible for heading up the intra-agency processes within Defense, and conducting the interagency coordination with the department of state and the department of energy, as well as consulting with congressional armed services and appropriations committees (and possibly others). Four high-level interagency working groups—one headed by State—are responsible for assessing different components of the posture review process: policy and strategy; capabilities, force structure, and programs; nuclear weapons stockpile and infrastructure; and international dimensions.[14]

Crucially, a lack of consensus within the key bureaucracies on the current and future roles of nuclear weapons in U.S. security policy compounds the NPR's procedural complexity. Just within the Department of Defense, some important officials have expressed skepticism at some potential changes in established nuclear doctrine. For example, deputy assistant defense secretary for force transformation and resources David Ochmanek recently said that he was "a little bemused" by recommendations from some members of the policy community that suggested limiting the U.S. nuclear arsenal's mission to retaliation for a nuclear strike.[15] Moreover, reduction of nuclear numbers below the expected levels of the START I follow on agreement is likely to change the relative composition of the U.S. nuclear triad of bombers, missiles, and submarines with significant political and budgetary implications for the air force and the navy, as well as their corresponding constituencies in Congress. [16]

In light of these intricacies, some nuclear policy analysts and former government officials express concern that, despite Obama's transformational vision, the outcome of the review process will be a set of status quo options.[17] They fret that this year's exercise threatens to repeat the dashed hopes of the 1994 NPR, when the deference of the Clinton administration to defense officials slowed the transformation of the post-Cold War U.S. nuclear posture. These scholars call for "forceful leadership from the top" in order to counter intrinsic bureaucratic resistance. "Only sustained, painstaking effort on the part of the new president and senior appointees—no matter how heartfelt their aspiration for nuclear reform—can possibly hope to surmount bureaucratic impediments to business as usual," Janne Nolan and James Holmes maintain.[18] Similarly, writes Joe Cirincione, "If the Pentagon's civilian officials continue on their current course, the new Obama nuclear policy will be Bush Light. Same doctrine, same weapons, slightly tweaked."[19] Finally, another scholar argues for the need to "give the President three or four real options." "A set of real options would reflect, rather than obscure, the very different views about how much the details [of deterrence] matter," says Jeffrey Lewis .[20]

The Policy Community Debates Threats and Doctrine

Officials involved in the review indicated in August that they would make a coordinated effort to engage and reach out to nuclear scholars in the non-governmental world, academia, and think tanks.[21] Already, such groups have published a half dozen reports on various aspects of the NPR during the last year. The groups include the Congressional Commission on United States Strategic Posture (Strategic Posture Commission), the Center for American Progress, the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force (CFR Task Force), the Federation of American Scientists/Natural Resources Defense Council (FAS/NRDC), Nuclear Weapons Complex Consolidation Policy Network (NWCCPN), and the New Deterrent Working Group (NDWG).[22] The proposals contained within these reports range from vague to substantive and from fundamentally transformational to supportive of the status quo.

The Role of Nuclear Weapons

President Obama stated in April and a fact sheet on the NPR reiterated in August, the main role and mission for the U.S. nuclear forces is to "deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies."[23] Few of these reports quibble with that proposition. But they differ on exactly how that mission should be carried out and how to balance deterrence with arms control and nonproliferation efforts.

The congressional Strategic Posture Commission has received the most attention because of the fact that it was chartered by Congress and included many luminaries, including its co-chairs, former defense secretaries William Perry and James Schlesinger. Key administration officials, including those in the Pentagon drafting the NPR, have suggested that its views are widely shared in the Obama administration.[24]

At the same time, some in the nonproliferation community have criticized it for being "a conservative and cautious document, arguing largely for maintaining the status quo, perhaps with minor adjustments, into the indefinite future."[25]

The report supports strategic engagement with Russia and China and some limited cuts. But it emphasizes that any cuts must not threaten the "extended deterrence" that U.S. nuclear forces provide to U.S. allies and advocated extended consultations to assess those countries' needs. In this light it recommended that tactical weapons in Europe be retained "as long as this force supports NATO political objectives in reassuring allies and acts as a disincentive for NATO allies to build their own nuclear forces. Regarding declaratory policy, the report also strikes a cautious note suggesting that Washington "should not abandon calculated ambiguity [the threat of nuclear retaliation for a chemical or biological attack] by adopting a policy of no-first-use" while still making it clear that nuclear weapons will be used "only in extreme circumstances."

Some of the same notes were struck in the NDWG report and CFR Task Force reports, although the two papers emphasized different aspects. The NDWG report emphasized the dangers of cuts in U.S. arsenals, contending that the U.S. nuclear arsenal needs to be "sized and tailored to hedge against uncertainty." U.S. nuclear weapons, the authors argued, "dissuade other nuclear and non-nuclear powers from adopting more belligerent policies that threaten U.S. interests." Further, they noted that a decline in U.S. nuclear numbers will encourage regional proliferation of nuclear weapons. Moreover they concluded that, "U.S. policy [on nonstrategic nuclear forces, or NSNF] should be guided by two principles. First, the United States should seek substantial reductions in the large force of Russian NSNF. Second, no changes to the U.S. force posture should be made without comprehensive consultations with all U.S. allies (and within NATO as such)." (For a discussion of nonstrategic nuclear weapons in Europe, see NTI issue brief by Thomas Maettig, "Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Germany: Time for Withdrawal?")

The CFR Task Force emphasized the primacy of arms control and strategic cooperation with Russia and China. The United States does not need nuclear weapons to compensate for conventional military inferiority and has no reason to fear a conventionally armed foe," the report states. The FAS/NRDC report offers up the boldest thoughts and the most pointed questions on the role of nuclear weapons. It argues that Washington needs to adopt a "minimal deterrence posture" by abandoning counterforce targeting in favor of targeting war-industry related infrastructure items. This doctrinal approach, the authors contend, is "one of no-first-use with constrained second-use," where nuclear weapons deter only the use of nuclear weapons. Further, the analysts note that it is imperative for the United States to be proactive: "If the United States abandons its counterforce capability under a minimal deterrence policy, changes in Russian and Chinese arsenal size and deployment could result."

Policy Views and the Nuclear Force Structure

The policy approaches of the papers led to different conclusions as to the total number and which types of nuclear weapons and delivery systems the United States should retain.

In August 2009, a Department of Defense fact sheet said that in the NPR, "There is no pre-determined level of reductions for the U.S. arsenal... [Yet the NPR] will examine ways to reduce both the role and number of nuclear weapons, although the complete elimination of nuclear weapons is not anticipated in the timeframe of this review."[26] Only two of the outside reports offer specific numerical benchmarks: the NWCCPN report proposes how to get to 500, the NDWG views 1,700—the floor of the Moscow Treaty—as the ultimate reduction target. The other three reports either focused on a specific way to get to zero by examining missions for nuclear weapons (FAS/NRDC) or suggested that numbers are dependent on a set of complex calculations by policymakers on the strategic posture and discussions with allies and friends regarding the extent and components of U.S. security guarantees.

An August 2009 Department of Defense fact sheet indicated that for the time being, the triad structure of the U.S. nuclear forces will remain intact:"After rigorous analysis, the NPR team determined that maintaining a nuclear triad with a significantly reduced number of operationally deployed strategic nuclear weapons and accountable strategic delivery vehicles would enhance our national security objectives and provide extended deterrence to allies and friends."[27] However, high-level defense officials understand as reductions in nuclear numbers continue, tough choices will have to be made about the triad's future. Said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in remarks at Maxwell Air Force base in April, "... the question is, depending on where post START ends up, if we go down significantly in the number of nuclear weapons that we have deployed, the question is whether the traditional triad makes sense anymore and I think we have to address that."[28]

The policy community reports diverged in their views on the future of the triad. The report of the Strategic Posture Commission states that the members reviewed a dyad, but decided that the "for the immediate future" the triad must be maintained because of its "resilience and flexibility." On the other hand, the FAS/NRDC report endorsed a gradual transition from a triad to a dyad of ICBMs and bombers, a recommendation unlikely to win favor from naval submariners and their advocates in Congress.

Debating Stockpile Reliability and Nuclear Complex Components

In addition to treating doctrinal concepts, the 2009 NPR will tackle two contentious issues—the reliability of the aging nuclear arsenal and the future of the infrastructure required to maintain the shrinking stockpile. Moreover, the administration's policies on the former issue are key to successfully shepherding the CTBT through Congress. (For a discussion of Congressional politics of the CTBT, see NTI issue brief by Kaegan McGrath, "Battle Lines Being Drawn in the CTBT Debate: an Analysis of the Strategic Posture Commission's Arguments against U.S. Ratification," )

From the Bush administration, the Obama administration inherited an unresolved debate on the long-term vision for the U.S. nuclear complex—whether its functions should be limited to maintenance of the existing nuclear stockpile and dismantlement of weapons or whether it should also include designing and possibly building new nuclear weapons. Early on, the Obama administration indicated its opposition to the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW)—a programmatic concept for nuclear warhead modernization that came out of the 2002 NPR.[29] The RRW, billed by Bush administration officials as an alternative to the existing stewardship and life-extension programs, was intended to assuage concerns about the confidence and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile in the absence of further nuclear testing. Bush administration officials argued that more "reliable" weapons would allow the United States to retain fewer spares in storage.[30] Congressional appropriators, who had called on the Bush team to offer up a vision for nuclear weapons before any corresponding congressional appropriations would be made, repeatedly cut funds to implement the concept. Some policy community analysts argued that the RRW, if viewed overseas as a "modernization" effort (as distinct from maintaining existing weapons), would send a dangerous message that would further reinforce the importance of nuclear weapons.

There is less disagreement that some effort is needed to maintain and renew a base of nuclear design and other unique skills in the U.S. national laboratories.[31] But exactly how the NPR treats this issue is likely to be an issue of significant interest. Further, the administration will have to address growing calls to shrink the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) officials have repeatedly argued in favor of transforming the nuclear complex into a "smaller, safer, more secure, and less expensive enterprise."[32] The NNSA plans to date have proposed maintaining the existing structure of the complex, while consolidating duplicate functions. Similarly, nonproliferation community analysts have expressed concern regarding the costs absorbed by maintaining the nuclear weapons complex.[33] (For discussion of costs of U.S. nuclear weapons and congressional oversight of budgetary issues, see NTI issue briefs by Stephen I Schwartz, "The Costs of U.S. Nuclear Weapons," and "Congressional Oversight of US Nuclear Weapons," )

The reports released by the policy community offer up varying recommendations on this issue. The NWCCPN report, the most specific on these issues, , calls for shrinking the U.S. nuclear weapons complex by 2025 to a level that could support 500 weapons. The plan calls for ceasing weapons-related activities at five sites—the Kansas City Plant, Y-12 National Security Complex, Savannah River Site, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Nevada Test Site. The residual capabilities for maintaining the warheads would remain at 3 locations—Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, and the Pantex Plant in Texas.[34]

The other reports do not offer such detailed plans. The Strategic Posture Commission argues that NNSA plans to transform the complex are sound, but need to be funded. Further, the report maintains that the Executive Branch needs to keep a close eye on the status and diversity of skills maintained by nuclear complex personnel: "The White House should establish an interagency process to ... and ensure that work in defense, homeland security, and intelligence is assigned to the national laboratories, building on work already in progress."

The CFR Task Force report argues for conducting a "cost-benefit analysis on the aging of all legacy warhead components, both their nuclear and nonnuclear parts, and on any proposals for developing and building replacement warheads." The report also stresses that in order to "sustain reliability," "[t]he labs will need to be given authority either to undertake redesigns or to undertake an enhanced Life Extension Program that would include mining components from unused weapons." It also suggests that additional "potential warhead designs" need to be investigated in the labs, and sets forth criteria for new warhead designs.

The NDWG restates concerns about the "atrophying ability to test" and the need to reject CTBT ratification—all led by a concern that "peer adversaries are working very hard to develop new and more usable systems." The group suggests the need to "reestablish a continuing, robust research, development, test and evaluation program... across dozens of fields relevant to advanced designs for nuclear weapons.... Revitalize the Pentagon's national research and development program for examining the effects of nuclear weapons." The authors also maintain that the U.S. needs to "adopt a new national commitment to design, test, and produce, on a continuing basis, new nuclear weapons."

It should be noted that the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390) passed by the Senate on July 23, 2009, includes a mandate for the Government Accountability Office to conduct a nine-month study of Stockpile Stewardship, a Department of Energy program that has for 15 years assessed, maintained, and refurbished the aging stockpile without nuclear testing as well as evaluate the condition and costs of the nuclear complex infrastructure. [35] Further, to "support and complement" Stockpile Stewardship, congressional appropriators—with assistance of former congresswoman and now senior State Department official Ellen Tauscher—have proposed creation of an RRW-replacement program, dubbed Stockpile Management, would replace the Reliable Replacement Warhead program which "provide[s] a framework for the activities associated with actual work on the weapons that comprise the stockpile, including limitations on any changes to the stockpile."[36]

The Buck Stops with the Commander in Chief

Unlike the 2002 NPR, which was leaked to the press, an unclassified version of 2009 document will be made public. Yet, the public largely remains inactive on nuclear issues. Public opinion on nuclear weapons policy—traditionally an "elite issue"—is notoriously difficult to measure and mold. Some polls conclude that majorities of people around the world "favor an international agreement" towards nuclear elimination.[37] Public opinion studies with a U.S.-focus, however, suggest that the public is somewhat suspicious and cautious of grand proposals for "a world free of nuclear weapons," and might exhibit a greater support for presidential initiatives on nuclear reduction if administration officials frame the end goal as "keep[ing] nuclear weapons and nuclear materials away from terrorists."[38]

That said, review of the nuclear weapons component is but one part of an ongoing evaluation of the U.S. strategic posture. Concurrently with the NPR, Obama administration officials are reviewing ballistic missile defense and space policies as well as drafting the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, also due to Congress in December.[39] To further complicate matters, these key reassessments come at a time when the young administration is preoccupied with management of two protracted military engagements abroad and engaged in consensus building on structural domestic reforms. But as the president stated in Prague:

    "None of these challenges can be solved quickly or easily. But all of them demand that we listen to one another and work together; that we focus on our common interests, not on occasional differences; and that we reaffirm our shared values, which are stronger than any force that could drive us apart. That is the work that we must carry on."[40]

Great expectations ride the 2009 review's conclusions resonating with the president's bold, yet timely, call for a "nuclear-free world." The commitments made by Obama in his Prague speech elevate the 2009 NPR to a position of much greater importance than either the Clinton or Bush reviews. The Obama administration has a unique opportunity to sustain a real national debate on the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security policy.

Sources:

[1] The author is grateful to CNS senior researchers Miles Pomper and Stephen Schwartz, who provided invaluable assistance by commenting on and editing this issue brief. All errors and omissions are the author's own.
[2] P.L. 110-181, signed into law on January 28, 2008, see text at thomas.loc.gov.
[3] See excerpts of the 1994 NPR at the Federation of American Scientists website: www.fas.org; For an in-depth analysis of the 1994 NPR, see Janne E. Nolan, An Elusive Consensus: Nuclear Weapons and American Security After the Cold War (1999: Brookings Institution Press).
[4] Remarks by Barack Obama in Prague, the Czech Republic, April 5, 2009, www.whitehouse.gov.
[5] Remarks by Barack Obama in Prague, op. cit.
[6] Department of Defense Background Briefing on the Quadrennial Defense Review and the Nuclear Posture Review, April 23, 2009, www.defenselink.mil.
[7] Department of Defense Background Briefing on the Quadrennial Defense Review and the Nuclear Posture Review, April 23, 2009, www.defenselink.mil.
[8] Text of P.L. 110-181, op. cit.
[9] Ellen Tauscher, Remarks to U.S. Strategic Command Deterrence Symposium, July 30, 2009, www.state.gov.
[10] John Isaacs and Kingston Reif, "Will the Senate Support New Nuclear Arms Reductions?" Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 23, 2009, www.thebulletin.org.
[11] Nuclear Posture Review 2010 Fact Sheet: The NPR, Arms Control, and Deterrence, Department of Defense, August 6, 2009, www.armscontrolwonk.com.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Interfax interview with Rose Gottemoeller, May 2009, www.interfax.com.
[14] "2009 NPR Terms of Reference Factsheet," Department of Defense, June 2, 2009, www.defenselink.mil. The fact sheet notes that the review will by OSD (undersecretary of defense for policy) and Joint Staff (vice chairman, joint chiefs of staff), working closely with COCOMs and representatives of military departments and all across the OSD components, in consultation with Energy and State. Further ASD Global Strategic Affairs will provide day-to-day supervision of the review, while the process will be directed by DASD NBMD Policy and J-5 deputy director for strategy and policy. Also see Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) Background, Department of Defense, August 6, 2009.
[15] See Elaine M. Grossman, "U.S. Defense Official Skeptical of Revising Nuclear Deterrence Strategy," July 28, 2009, http://gsn.nti.org; Elaine M. Grossman, "Nuclear Review to Make 'Progress' in Advancing Obama Disarmament Vision, Official Says," Global Security Newswire, July 23, 2009, http://gsn.nti.org.
[16] Elaine M. Grossman, "New U.S. Warhead Reductions Said to Depend on Nuclear Targeting Changes," Global Security Newswire, April 1, 2009, http://gsn.nti.org; Elaine M. Grossman, "Nuclear Review to Make "Progress" in Advancing Obama Disarmament Vision, Official Says," Global Security Newswire, July 23, 2009, http://gsn.nti.org,
[17] See for instance, quote in Elaine M. Grossman, "New U.S. Warhead Reductions Said to Depend on Nuclear Targeting Changes," Global Security Newswire, April 1, 2009, http://gsn.nti.org.
[18] Janne E. Nolan and James R. Holmes, "The Bureaucracy of Deterrence," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March/April 2008, pp. 40-43, 55-58.
[19] Joe Cirincione, "The Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Landmine," Huffingtonpost, August 10, 2009, www.huffingtonpost.com.
[20] Jeffrey Lewis, "Forget the Posture Commission, OK?" Arms Control Wonk, August 11, 2009, www.armscontrolwonk.com.
[21] Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) Background, Department of Defense, August 6, 2009; available: www.armscontrolwonk.com.
[22] Nuclear Weapons Complex Consolidation Policy Network consists of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Tri-Valley CAREs, the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and JustPeace of Texas; the New Deterrent Working Group was sponsored by the Center for Security Policy. The CAP report, released in November 2008, offers questions for the review process and a timeline for the NPR's execution. Unlike the other 5 reports, the CAP report doesn't offer up specific doctrinal recommendations per se.
[23] Remarks by president Obama in Prague, op. cit.; "The NPR, Arms Control and Deterrence," op. cit.
[24] CNS staff discussion with a senior defense official, involved in the review, July 2009.
[25] See Hans Kristensen and Ivan Oelrich, "Lots of Hedging, Little Leading: An Analysis of the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission Report," Arms Control Today, June 2009, www.armscontrol.org.
[26] Nuclear Posture Review 2010 Fact Sheet: The NPR, Arms Control, and Deterrence, op. cit.
[27] Ibid.
[28] Jeffrey Lewis, "Gates to Triad: Drop Dead," Arms Control Wonk, April 30, 2009, www.armscontrolwonk.com.
[29] Scott Miller, "Obama Cuts RRW Program," Arms Control Today, April 2009, www.armscontrol.org.
[30] For a good discussion of the RRW, see Jeffrey Lewis, "After the Reliable Replacement Warhead: What's Next for the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal?," Arms Control Today, December 2008, www.armscontrol.org.
[31] Richard Garwin, "A Different Kind of Complex: The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons and the Nuclear Weapons Enterprise," Arms Control Today, December 2008, www.armscontrol.org.
[32] Thomas D'Agostino, Testimony on "Reducing the Cost of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex" before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, March 17, 2009, http://nnsa.energy.gov.
[33] Stephen Schwartz and Deepti Choubey, "Nuclear Security Spending: Assessing Costs, Examining Priorities," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report, January 2009, www.carnegieendowment.org.
[34] Robert Civiak, et. al, "Transforming the U.S. Strategic Posture and Weapons Complex for Transition to a Nuclear Weapons-Free World," April 2009, www.nukewatch.org.
[35] "Language in the bill (offered by Sen. Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, and others) mandates a report from the executive branch that includes the following elements: "(A) A description of the plan to enhance the safety, security, and reliability of the United States nuclear weapons stockpile. (B) A description of the plan to modernize the nuclear weapons complex, including improving the safety of facilities, modernizing the infrastructure, and maintaining the key capabilities and competencies of the nuclear weapons workforce, including designers and technicians. (C) A description of the plan to maintain delivery platforms for nuclear weapons. (D) An estimate of budget requirements, including the costs associated with the plans outlined under subparagraphs (A) through (C), over a 10-year period." See discussion of the Kyl Amendment in Kingston Reif, "Kyl Forced to Stand Down," Nukes of Hazard Blog, July 27, 2009, www.nukesofhazardblog.com."
[36] See Ellen Tauscher, Remarks to US Strategic Command Deterrence Symposium, Omaha, Nebraska, July 30, 2009, www.state.gov; Jeffrey Lewis, "HASC Language on Stockpile Management," ArmsControlWonk.com, July 23, 2009, www.armscontrolwonk.com.
[37] See "Publics around the World Favor International Agreement To Eliminate All Nuclear Weapons," World Public Opinion, December 9, 2008, www.worldpublicopinion.org.
[38] See "Major Public Support for Obama Nuclear Policies; Questions Remain," Council for a Livable World, May 22, 2009, www.livableworld.org; "Talking About Nuclear Weapons: Lessons from Recent Opinion and Messaging Research," Connect US Briefing, July 16, 2009, Washington, D.C., www.connectusfund.org.
[39] 2010 QDR Terms of Reference Factsheet, Department of Defense, April 27, 2009, www.defenselink.mil.
[40] Obama speech in Prague, op. cit.

August 19, 2009
About

Anya Loukianova explores the possibilities for continuity and change in the 2009 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, based on the Obama administration's stance on arms control heretofore.

Authors
Anya Loukianova

Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies