The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy

Committee on International Security and Arms Control

National Academy of Sciences

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1997



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The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy Committee on International Security and Arms Control National Academy of Sciences NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1997

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The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Council of the National Academy of Sciences. The Committee on International Security and Arms Control is a standing committee of the National Academy of Sciences, whose members were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievement of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This project was made possible with funding support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Available in limited quantities from: The Committee on International Security and Arms Control National Academy of Sciences 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 cisac@nas.edu Additional copies are available for sale from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 1-800-624-6242 (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 97-68120 International Standard Book Number 0-309-06367-1 Copyright © 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy Committee On International Security And Arms Control National Academy of Sciences JOHN P. HOLDREN, Chair, Professor, Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, harvard University JOHN D. STEINBRUNER, Vice-chair, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Program, The Brookings Institution WILLIAM F. BURNS, Major General (USA, Ret.) GEORGE LEE BUTLER, Vice President, Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc. PAUL M. DOTY, Director Emeritus, Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University STEVE FETTER, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland, College Park ALEXANDER H. FLAX, President Emeritus, Institute for Defense Analyses and Senior Fellow, National Academy of Engineering RICHARD L. GARWIN, Fellow Emeritus, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, IBM Corporation ROSE GOTTEMOELLER, Deputy Director, International Institute for Strategic Studies SPURGEON M. KEENY, JR., President, Arms Control Association JOSHUA LEDERBERG, University Professor, The Rockefeller University MATTHEW MESELSON, Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Cellular Biology, Harvard University WOLFGANG K. H. PANOFSKY, Professor and Director Emeritus, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University C. KUMAR N. PATEL, Vice Chancellor—Research, University of California at Los Angeles JONATHAN D. POLLACK, Senior Advisor for International Policy, The RAND Corporation ROBERT H. WERTHEIM, Rear Admiral (USN, Ret.) F. SHERWOOD ROWLAND, Ex Officio, Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Sciences JOHN BORIGHT, Executive Director, Office of International Affairs, National Research Council JO L. HUSBANDS, Director, Committee on International Security and Arms Control, National Academy of Sciences LA'FAYE LEWIS-OLIVER, Administrative Assistant, Committee on International Security and Arms Control, National Academy of Sciences

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The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy This page in the original is blank.

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The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy Foreword Unlike most National Research Council committees, which are formed to carry out a particular study and then dissolved when their task is complete, the Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC) is a standing committee of the National Academy of Sciences. CISAC was created in 1980 to bring the Academy's scientific and technical talent to bear on crucial problems of peace and security. The committee's objectives are to engage scientists in other countries in dialogues that build a common understanding of security issues and work toward common solutions to arms control and security problems, to develop recommendations and other initiatives on scientific and technical issues affecting international security and cooperation, to respond to requests from the U.S. government for analysis and advice on these issues, and to inform and foster the interest of scientists and engineers in international security problems. The committee's rotating membership includes scientists, engineers, and policy analysts. John P. Holdren (Harvard University) serves as chair of the committee, with John Steinbruner (The Brookings Institution) as vice-chair. Together, CISAC's members have many decades of experience in nuclear policy, many in senior government positions, dating back to the Manhattan Project (see Appendix A for biographies). All of them are currently involved in security affairs on at least a part-time basis. This report reflects the collective technical and political judgment of these individuals. Although grounded in technical assessments wherever possible, the committee acknowledges that there are points where the analysis results from its discussions and joint study of the issues rather than from "facts" alone. As my predecessor, Frank Press, said of CISAC's 1991 study: "Rather than developing new ideas, the study's greatest value lies in the remarkable degree of consensus that the group was able to achieve on a wide

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The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy array of important security issues" (The Future of the U.S.-Soviet Nuclear Relationship, p. vii). Some of CISAC's members might have preferred more or less ambitious recommendations on some issues, but in the end the committee agreed on a comprehensive program that would transform the roles that nuclear weapons play in the national security policy of the United States. Major General William F. Burns (USA, ret.) chaired this study for CISAC. He has been engaged in many aspects of nuclear policy over the years; one of his first assignments was to an artillery battalion armed with tactical nuclear weapons on the front lines of NATO and, after a distinguished military career, one of his last government assignments was as director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. CISAC is deeply indebted to him for accepting this demanding task and seeing it to completion with patience, good humor, and unflagging intellectual engagement in shaping the committee's conclusions and recommendations. Every member of CISAC contributed to the text of the study; Steve Fetter, John P. Holdren, Spurgeon Keeny, and Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky undertook particularly heavy drafting assignments. The committee also is grateful for the assistance it received in the course of the study. CISAC's director, Jo Husbands, was indispensable as usual in her contributions to the organization, coordination, drafting, and editing of the report. Her professionalism, tact, and willingness to extend herself on behalf of members of CISAC reflect great credit on her as a member of the Academy's senior staff. Michael Mazarr served as a consultant in the early stages of the study and contributed significantly to its formulation and development. La'Faye Lewis-Oliver provided invaluable administrative support and budget-stretching skills. The report has the unanimous endorsement of all CISAC members, with the exception of Joshua Lederberg who was engaged in another major CISAC project on biological weapons issues and was unable to participate in the study process. BRUCE ALBERTS President National Academy of Sciences

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The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1     The Current Situation and the Reasons for Further Change   1     Nuclear Deterrence Past and Future   3     A Two-Part Program of Change   4     Building a Regime of Progressive Constraints   6     Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons?   8 1   WHY CHANGE U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS POLICY?   11     The Problem and the Prospects in Summary   12     Nuclear Weapon Dilemmas and Dynamics   23     The Case for Post-Cold War Reductions and Transformations   26     Orientation and a Caution   30 2   CURRENT U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS POLICY   33     The U.S.-Russian Interaction   33     The Other Nuclear Weapons States: China, France, and the United Kingdom   46     Nuclear Weapons Policy and Nonproliferation   47     Conclusion   56 3   A REGIME OF PROGRESSIVE CONSTRAINTS   58     An Immediate Step: To 2,000 Deployed Strategic Warheads   59     Further Transformation of the U.S.-Russian Interaction   60     Nuclear Reductions and Nonproliferation   66     Nuclear Force Reductions: How Low Can We Go?   75

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The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy 4   PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS   85     The Benefits and Risks of Nuclear Disarmament   86     Prerequisites for Nuclear Disarmament   88     Routes to Nuclear Disarmament   92     Conclusions   97     APPENDIXES         A Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   101     B The Buildup and Builddown of Nuclear Forces   105