Preparing for the 2009 Nuclear Posture Review: Post-Cold War Nuclear Deterrence and the 2001 NPR Debate   [open pdf - 109KB]

"With the upcoming change of administration, Congress has mandated that a new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) be accomplished, the first such review since 2001. While the Department of Defense (DoD) endeavors to produce this cornerstone report on the current and future shape of U.S. strategic forces, it is perhaps also time for a renewed public examination and debate. Without the crisis of the Cold War, nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy are no longer the exclusive purview of military generals and elite statesmen. In fact the very nature of democracy demands that its citizens are not ignorant of the risks or costs associated with the various policies and decisions that our elected representatives make on our behalf; and perhaps no issue contains such critical risks and high costs as nuclear weapons. There must be a clear public understanding of why we still have these weapons, how many we need, what they can and cannot do for us, and how our use or misuse of them will impact not only our own security, but in this increasingly globalized world, the inherently shared security of all people. In this essay I will lay the foundation for understanding these issues by showing how the wide discrepancy in opinions over the shape and purpose of U.S. nuclear forces is due to a fundamental difference in how various groups understand nuclear deterrence."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Center for Contemporary Conflict: http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/
Media Type:
Strategic Insights (January 2009), v.3 no.1
Help with citations