Jul 24, 2007

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Strategy Delivered to Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman joined the U.S. Secretaries of Defense and State in sending to Congress the Bush Administration’s nuclear weapons strategy. This document not only describes the history of nuclear deterrence during the Cold War, but reinforces how deterrence applies to present and future security threats, and what a nuclear stockpile of the 21st century will need to look like in order to meet those threats.

The strategy emphasizes President Bush’s goal of maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent with the lowest possible number of nuclear weapons. It is consistent with the Moscow Treaty that sets U.S. and Russian operationally deployed strategic nuclear forces at 1,700-2,200 by 2012. The policy document also supports the President’s 2004 directive to cut the overall U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile almost in half, so that in just five years the nuclear arsenal will be at its lowest level since the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s.

“We are committed to maintaining the nuclear weapons stockpile, but as our Cold War-era weapons age this becomes more and more difficult and very costly,” said Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman. “This document clearly lays out the best actions we can take in the face of an uncertain future.”

The document reiterates the U.S. commitment to maintaining a secure, safe and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile into the future, without the use of underground nuclear testing, for the security of both the United States and its allies. The strategy also describes the proposed Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) as the best means for ensuring the future nuclear deterrent, while allowing for a decrease in the size of the stockpile.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad. Visit www.nnsa.doe.gov for more information.

To see the full text of the strategy, visit: http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/docs/factsheets/2007/NA-07-FS-04.pdf.

NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371


Eric said...

I am probably missing something in the attached document.

Is there anyone who thinks that Al Qaeda in Iraq or one of Moktada Al Sadr's many militias will go:

"Oh, America has 2100 nuclear warheads so lets not blow up this police station."

or anyone who thinks:

"Well, 20 guys in turbans blew up a market in Sadr City, let's nuke the city."

So, who actually are we deterring? There are rumors that the Cold War is over and that no nation states will have viable nukes for many years.

Thomas Friedman called the non state actors "The Undeterrables.

Anonymous said...

now: China
soon: N. Korea
future: India, Pakistan, Iran

With these players, I would not feel safe without a few nukes in the closet. But that's just me.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Eric -

Good question...

Insert"rational" after "anyone" and your question can be answered pretty in the negative, but we have plenty of evidence that we are lead at many levels by "not-so-rational" people.

We can offer you two counter-examples to your rhetorical question "Is there anyone who thinks ...".

Go to the Black Hole, let Ed Grothus sit you down in front of his VCR/TV and watch and listen to Stephen Younger make almost *exactly* that claim in a speech he gave (and we attended) in 1999.

On 9/12/01, Our Group Leader sent a "funny" e-mail around our group with a "weather report" showing the temperature of Kabul, Afghanistan on 9/11 and 9/12... an abrupt rise of 10,000 degrees (or whatever), with an atomic fireball in place of the "sun" icon used for sunny days, etc. This was very wrong at many levels...

This man is in a congressional Bill to be elevated to a General (he retired from the Army to be our Group Leader, but come 9/11 and a fancy war in Afghanistan and Iraq, he raced back to active duty...) and is about to become the LANL head of DOD programs...

Younger's talk from 1999 and this Bozo's behaviour in 2001 indicates quite strongly that there are *many* people who believe this kind of crap.

In fact, our own white-house keeps pretending that the only thing that keeps Al Quaeda (and a whole genre of terrorists with their eyes on the US) would "follow us home" if we pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

- Doc

Eric said...

From Thomas Freidman's book "The Earth is flat"

China will not attack us because Dell, IBM, HP, Nike, Adidas etc. would immediately move their production elsewhere and China would collapse.

India will not attack us for similar reasons.

As to North Korea and the rest, Bechtel has a greater yearly income than most of them put together.

We should be cautious and careful. But I do not understand fear of these places.

For instance, if North Korea managed to set off an explosion in Seoul, what next? Does North Korea say, "Time out. We will send another bomb in twenty years when we make one unless we starve to death first."

Similarly, North Korea has a million man army but no cars, tanks, navy, food, or gasoline. As Patton pointed out in WWII and the North taught the South in our Civil War, an army without supplies does not last long.

Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

You probably have it about right. The biggest threat to this country (and the rest of the planet) are the Wolfowitz-types in Washington and those who listen to them and the rich self-proclaimed know-it-all christians in Orange County, California, and several other places. And, of course, those who think that all Muslims do everything that the Koran tells them to do any more than all Christians do everything required by the Bible.

Anonymous said...


This probably isn't what you'd like to hear, but since you've drawn an equivalence between Islam and Christianity, it's worth making the point that while Christianity, and all other religions I'm aware of, even Bhuddists for the record, have done very bad things in the name of their religion,there is only one that tells you that you need to do bad things (eg. kill or subjugate the infidels) in order to be a member in good standing. In short, if you're a Christian terrorist you aren't following your book; if you're a Moslem trying to kill infidels you ARE following your book. Peruse a copy of the Koran if you don't believe me; preferably before writing a flame-mail response. And yes I know that many sections of the bible can be taken out of context to support almost any behavior; which makes about as much sense as predicting armageddon from a computer program running the "hidden" bible code.

All of that aside, I'm afraid that Eric has actually written something I agree with. Can't see how a multi-hundred or even thousand warheads will protect us from Al-Queda.

A self-proclaimed Christian who doesn't live in Orange County, isn't rich (but would like to be), and who has more questions than answers.

Anonymous said...

Reading the Koran is a must. The language and tone of the whole book is very revealing. After reading it, you'll never look at Muslims again in the same light. Most Americans have a very poor understanding of this book which drives the core of Islamic ideology.

Darko said...

I've read the Koran and the Bible and I really don't get the pointed difference being "suggested" here.

I'm not going to go into chapter and verse comparisons between various holy books.

Can't we all agree that the holy books of most (all?) known religions include some pretty "unenlightened" ideas and behavior by our "modern" standards?

Fundamental Bibleists will probably scream at me for this, but they will just be making asses of themselves in front of the rest of us, increasing the ease with which many of us find ourselves comparing them to Fundamental Koranists.

Giving the first poster on the topic a little credit, yes, the Koran does "prescribe" such conduct while the Bible merely "condones" it.

Scream all you want, but there is a much bigger difference between fundamentalist ideology of any stripe and rational, humanitarian behavior than there is between the average follower of Islam and the average follower of Judiasm, Christianity, or even (cover your ears) Secular Humanists!

- Darko

PS... regarding the post on "keeping a few nukes in the closet". I agree that it would be prudent to keep a few (dozen) nukes at ready... but not the thousands we have, and in another 10 or 20 years, our children and grandchildren will thank us if they aren't relics from our current ageing stockpile.