In considering the future of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, the government must decide between two basic courses of action, explains a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service: either it must seek to extend the functional lifetime of existing nuclear weapons, or it must develop a new generation of warheads.
The CRS report compares and contrasts the pros and cons of these two options.
Another potential option, abolition of nuclear weapons, is not considered by the CRS, since “it has garnered no support in Congress or the Administration.”
The CRS does not make its products directly available to the public. A copy of the new report was obtained by Secrecy News.
See “Nuclear Warheads: The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program and the Life Extension Program,” December 13, 2006.
Some other notable recent reports from the CRS include the following (all pdf).
“The Military Commissions Act of 2006: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Previous DOD Rules and the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” October 12, 2006.
“FY2007 Appropriations for State and Local Homeland Security,” updated October 6, 2006.
“Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF),” October 18, 2006.
“Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda,” October 20, 2006.