WASHINGTON, DC -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. For more information visit the NNSA homepage.
Bryan Wilkes, NNSA, (202) 586-7371