Jun 14, 2007

2009 Revised Nuclear Posture Review

[Excerpted from the Senate's NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008 sec. 1061 and 1062.]

Subtitle E—Other Matters
Revised nuclear posture review (sec. 1061)
The committee recommends a provision that would direct the
Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy,
to conduct a review of the nuclear posture of the United States for
the next 5 to 10 years. The new nuclear posture review (NPR)
would be submitted to Congress in December 2009.
The last NPR was conducted at the outset of the Bush administration
in December 2001. The committee believes that it is imperative
that the next administration clearly articulate its nuclear policy
at the outset of its tenure. The new NPR would include a review
of the policy objectives with respect to nuclear forces and
weapons and include the relationship among United States nuclear
deterrence policy, targeting strategy, and arms control objectives.
In addition the new NPR would look at the role that missile defense
capabilities and conventional strike forces play in determining
the size and role of nuclear forces.
The elements in the provision recommended by the committee
are identical to the elements that were required to be addressed in
the December 2001 NPR. The committee notes that the provision
would also direct the Secretary of Defense to submit the new NPR
in an unclassified form with a classified annex as necessary. Although
the Secretary of Defense was directed to submit the December
2001 NPR in an unclassified form, unfortunately this never

Termination of Commission on the Implementation of the
New Strategic Posture of the United States (sec. 1062)
The committee recommends a provision that would repeal section
1051 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
2006 (Public Law 109–163). The provision directed the Secretary of
Defense to enter into a contract with a federally funded research
and development center to provide for the organization, management,
and support of the commission on the implementation of the
new strategic posture. The commission was charged with looking at
the programmatic requirements of the Department of Defense
(DOD) to achieve the goals of the December 2001 Nuclear Posture
Review (NPR), including the requirements process, and the ability
of the current nuclear stockpile to address the evolving strategic
threat environment through 2008. The commission’s report was
originally due on June 30, 2007, and in the John Warner National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109–
364) the due date was extended to November 2007.
The DOD has not yet entered into this contract. The committee
believes that the intended scope and focus of the report, which are
actions of this administration and threats through 2008, the fact
that the commission has not yet started its work, and the short
time remaining until the term of the commission expires, means
that the commission’s report would no longer be timely or meaningful.
In lieu of this commission the committee has recommended a
provision that would direct the next administration to prepare a
new NPR. This document will provide forward-looking policy guidance
for the actions of the next administration.

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