Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nuclear Policy On The Path Toward Nuclear Disarmament: New Report

Date:
April 8, 2009
Source:
Federation of American Scientists
Summary:
In Prague, President Barack Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons. Today, scientists have released a report calling for fundamental changes to US nuclear war planning, a vital prerequisite if smaller nuclear arsenals are to be achieved.

In Prague, President Barack Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons. Today, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report calling for fundamental changes to U.S. nuclear war planning, a vital prerequisite if smaller nuclear arsenals are to be achieved.

Related Articles


"From Counterforce to Minimal Deterrence -- A New Nuclear Policy on the Path Toward Eliminating Nuclear Weapons" calls to abandon the almost five-decade-long central mission for U.S. nuclear forces, which has been and continues to be "counterforce," the capability for U.S. forces to destroy an enemy's military forces, its weapons, its command and control facilities and its key leaders.

"The current rationale for maintaining an arsenal of nuclear weapons no longer exists." said Ivan Oelrich, vice president of the Strategic Security Program at FAS and one of the report authors. "And to get future reductions in the number of weapons, we have to eliminate the missions they are assigned."

The nuclear mission flows from directives and guidance given by the president, through the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Strategic Command where it is implemented into elaborate war plans. The report calls for eliminating all but one mission for nuclear forces.

"President Obama has already taken the first step by stating America's commitment to a world without nuclear weapons," said Robert S. Norris, senior research associate with the Natural Resources Defense Council and report co-author. "We present the radical changes needed in U.S. policies to make disarmament a reality."

That sole mission is deterrence, narrowly defined, to mean the certain capability to retaliate if any nation was unwise enough to use nuclear weapons against the United States or certain allies.

"Under minimal deterrence, all requirements for war planners to achieve an advantage in a nuclear exchange or limit damage to ourselves will disappear, leaving only in place the most basic mission of a sure retaliatory response," said Hans Kristensen, director of the FAS Nuclear Information Project and report co-author.

The report makes these main points:

  • Current nuclear doctrine is an artifact of the Cold War that needs to be fundamentally altered. The counterforce mission, and all that goes with it, should be explicitly and publicly abandoned and replaced with a much less ambitious and qualitatively different doctrine.
  • A minimal deterrence mission should be adopted as a transitional step on a path to zero nuclear weapons.
  • The President must be continuously engaged in this transformation with specific and direct instructions to the national security bureaucracies. Otherwise, presidential intentions can be co-opted and diffused.
  • Once formulated the President should publicly announce the changed role for nuclear weapons and the new types of targets.
  • Under American leadership the process should lead to engagement with the other nuclear powers towards a global goal of abolition.
  • The new strategy can be carried out with weapons in the current arsenal. No new weapons need to be built nor an extensive new complex created.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Scientists. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Scientists. "Nuclear Policy On The Path Toward Nuclear Disarmament: New Report." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408091617.htm>.
Federation of American Scientists. (2009, April 8). Nuclear Policy On The Path Toward Nuclear Disarmament: New Report. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408091617.htm
Federation of American Scientists. "Nuclear Policy On The Path Toward Nuclear Disarmament: New Report." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408091617.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NYPD Gives High Tech Anti-Terror Weapon to 41,000 Officers

NYPD Gives High Tech Anti-Terror Weapon to 41,000 Officers

Buzz60 (Oct. 23, 2014) New York City officials announce a new technology initiative for the NYPD. Tim Minton reports smartphones and tablets will be given to more than 40,000 NYPD officers and detectives in an effort to change the way they perform their duties. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins