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The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
The debate began among Manhattan Project scientists and, separately, in the top leadership of the U.S. government, even before the Trinity nuclear test in 1945. See, for example, Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (New York: Touchstone, 1988).
National Academy of Sciences, Committee on International Security and Arms Control, The Future of the U.S.-Soviet Nuclear Relationship (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1991).
The Nuclear Posture Review did not lead to a public report; its contents were communicated, however, through a widely disseminated set of unclassified briefing charts.
The Henry L. Stimson Center's reports include Beyond the Nuclear Peril: The Year in Review and the Years Ahead (1995), An Evolving US Nuclear Posture (1995), and An American Legacy: Building a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World (1997) (Washington, D.C.: The Henry L. Stimson Center). The principal Pugwash and Canberra reports are, respectively, J. Rotblat et al. (eds.), A Nuclear Weapons Free World: Desirable? Feasible? (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1993); and Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth of Australia, 1996).
The distinction among accidental, erroneous, and unauthorized uses of nuclear weapons is elaborated in Box 1.2.
See, for example, James G. Blight and David A. Welch, "Risking 'The Destruction of Nations': Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis for New and Aspiring Nuclear States," Security Studies, vol. 4, no. 4; Scott D. Sagan, "The Perils of Proliferation: Organization Theory, Deterrence Theory, and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons," International Security, vol. 18, no. 4 (Spring 1994), pp. 66-107; and Scott D. Sagan, Moving Targets (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989).
By "practice of deterrence" the committee means the measures taken to generate a credible prospect of punishment for an action, or of denial of its objectives, or of its costs exceeding its benefits. See Box 1.1 for a further discussion.
This "last resort" formulation, which was promulgated during the Bush administration and formally adopted by NATO in 1990, is the current variant of the first-use-if-necessary policy on the employment of nuclear weapons that served as U.S. and NATO policy throughout the Cold War. See NATO Press Communique S-1(90)36, "London Declaration on a Transformed North Atlantic Alliance, Issued by the Heads of State and Government Participating in the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in London on 5th-6th July 1990."
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Fact Sheet: Joint Statement on Parameters on Further Reductions in Nuclear Forces," March 21, 1997.
See, for example, "Strategic forces now in forefront of Russia's defence—commander," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, Part 1, The Former USSR, December 19, 1996, No. SU/2799, pp. S1/1-S1/2.
For recent assessments of some of the major U.S. cooperative programs in this area, see Proliferation Concerns: Assessing U.S. Efforts to Help Contain Nuclear and Other Dangerous Materials and Technologies in the Former Soviet Union (1997) and An Assessment of the International Science and Technology Center (1996). Two CISAC studies of the particular problem of excess weapons plutonium are Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium (1994) and Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium: Reactor-Related Options (1995). All were published by the National Academy Press.
See Box 2.1 for definitions of strategic, nonstrategic, and reserve weapons.
For example, see Herbert F. York, Race to Oblivion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970) and Robert S. McNamara with Brian VanDeMark, In Retrospect (New York: Time Books, 1995).
As noted above, the problems of safeguarding surplus nuclear warheads and nuclear materials are not treated in detail in this report, notwithstanding their great importance, because they were the focus of a separate, two-volume CISAC study as well as the NRC study Proliferation Concerns.
"A significant shift in the Russian government into the hands of arch-conservatives could