Report on the BOTTOM-UP REVIEW
We describe the forces and capabilities needed to implement our defense strategy and guide the construction of our overall force structure as "building blocks". Force building blocks are a valuable analytical tool that allow us to see the linkage between certain types and quantities of forces and the tasks they are meant to perform. They also make clearer the price to be paid in making cuts in the military structure: eliminating a force building block can mean eliminating the capability to conduct a particular task.
Four broad classes of potential military operations were used in the Bottom-Up Review to evaluate the adequacy of future force structure alternatives:
This list is not all-inclusive. We will provide forces and military support for other types of operations, such as peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and to counter international drug trafficking. However, while such operations often call for small numbers of specialized forces or assets, they are not likely to be major determinants of general purpose force structure. However, they could require specialized training and equipment.
Our analysis of each of these four types of operations allowed us to construct, for planning purposes, building blocks of the forces required for them. By combining the building blocks and adjusting them to account for judgments about the need to conduct simultaneous operations, we were able to determine the number and mix of active and reserve forces that we will need to carry out our defense strategy.
During the Cold War, U.S. military planning was dominated by the need to confront numerically superior Soviet forces in Europe, the Far East, and Southwest Asia. Now, the focus is on the need to project power into regions important to U.S. interests and to defeat potentially hostile regional powers, such as North Korea or Iraq. Although these nations are unlikely to threaten the United States directly, they and other countries like them have shown that they are willing and able to field forces sufficient to threaten important U.S. interests, friends, and allies. Operation Desert Storm was a powerful demonstration of the need to counter such regional aggression.
Potential regional aggressors are expected to be capable of fielding military forces in the following ranges:
Military forces of this size could threaten regions important to the United States if allied or friendly states were unable to match their power. Hence, we must prepare our forces to assist those of friends and allies in deterring, and ultimately defeating, aggression should it occur.
Scenarios as Planning Tools. Every war that the United States has fought has been different from the last, and different from what defense planners had envisioned. For example, the majority of the bases and facilities used by the United States and its coalition partners in Operation Desert Storm were built in the 1980s, when we envisioned a Soviet invasion through Iran to be the principal threat to the Gulf region. In planning forces capable of fighting and winning major regional conflicts, we must avoid preparing for the past wars. History suggests that we most often deter the conflicts that we plan for and actually fight the ones we do not anticipate.
For planning and assessment purposes, we have selected two illustrative scenarios that are both possible and posit demands characteristic of those that could be posed by conflicts with other potential adversaries. Figure 4 (class handout) displays the scenarios and their relationship to planning for force employment across a range of potential conflicts. While a number of scenarios were examined, the two that we focused on most closely in the Bottom-Up Review envisioned aggression by a remilitarized Iraq against Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and by the North Korea against the Republic of Korea.
Neither of these scenarios should be regarded as a prediction of future conflicts, but each provides a useful representation of the challenge that could be presented by a well-armed regional power initiating aggression thousands of miles from the United States. As such, the scenarios serve as yardsticks against which to assess, in gross terms, the capabilities of U.S. forces.
In each scenario, we examined the performance of projected U.S. forces in relation to critical parameters, including warning time, the threat, terrain, weather, duration of hostilities, and combat intensity. Overall, these scenarios were representative of likely ranges of these parameters.
Both scenarios were developed for analyses conducted by the Joint Staff. Each assumed a similar enemy operation: an armor-heavy, combined-arms offensive against the outnumbered forces of a neighboring state. U.S. forces, most of which were not presumed to be present in the region when hostilities commenced, had to deploy to the region quickly, supplement indigenous forces, halt the invasion, and defeat the aggressor.
Such a "short notice" scenario, in which only a modest number of U.S. forces are in a region at the outset of hostilities, is both highly stressing and plausible. History shows that we frequently fail to anticipate the location and timing of aggression, even large-scale attacks against our interests. In such cases, it may also not be possible, prior to an attack, to reach a political consensus on the proper U.S. response or to convince our allies to grant U.S. forces access to facilities in their countries.
We also expect that the United States will often be fighting as the leader of a coalition, with allies providing some support and combat forces. As was the case in Desert Storm, the need to defend common interests should prompt our allies in many cases to contribute capable forces to a war effort. However, our forces must be sized and structured to preserve the flexibility and the capability to act unilaterally, should we choose to do so.
Our first priority in preparing for regional conflicts is to prevent them from ever occurring. This is the purpose of our overseas presence forces and operations, joint exercises, and other military capabilities -- to deter potential regional aggressors from even contemplating an attack. Should deterrence fail and conflict occur, it is envisioned that combat operations would unfold in four main phases.
Phase 1: Halt the invasion. The highest priority in defending against a large-scale attack will most often be to minimize the territory and critical facilities that an invader can capture. Should important strategic assets fall, the invader might attempt to use them as bargaining chips. In addition, stopping an invasion quickly may be key to ensuring that a threatened ally can continue its crucial role in the collective effort to defeat the aggressor. Further, the more territory the enemy captures, the greater the price to take it back: The number of forces required for a counteroffensive to repel an invasion can increase, with correspondingly greater casualties, depending on the progress the enemy makes. In the event of a short-warning attack, more U.S. forces would need to deploy rapidly to the theater and enter the battle as quickly as possible.
Phase 2: Build up U.S. combat power in the theater while reducing the enemy's. Once an enemy attack had been stopped and the front stabilized, U.S. and allied efforts would focus on continuing to build up combat forces and logistics support in the theater while reducing the enemy's capacity to fight. Land, air, maritime, and special operations forces from the United States and coalition countries would continue to arrive. These forces would seek to ensure that the enemy did not regain the initiative on the ground, and they would mount sustained attacks to reduce the enemy's military capabilities in preparation for a combined-arms counteroffensive.
Phase 3: Decisively defeat the enemy. In the third phase, U.S. and allied forces would seek to mount a large-scale, air-land counteroffensive to defeat the enemy decisively by attacking his centers of gravity, retaking territory he had occupied, destroying his war-making capabilities, and successfully achieving other operational or strategic objectives.
Phase 4: Provide for post-war stability. Although a majority of U.S. and coalition forces would begin returning to their home bases, some forces might be called upon to remain in the theater after the enemy had been defeated to ensure that the conditions that resulted in conflict did no recur. These forces could help repatriate prisoners, occupy and administer some or all of the enemy's territory, or ensure compliance with provisions of war-termination or cease-fire agreements.
Described below are the types of forces that are needed to conduct joint combat operations in all four phases of an MRC.
Forces for Phase 1. Primary responsibility for the initial defense of their territory rests, of course, with our allies. As forces of a besieged country move to blunt an attack, U.S. forces already in the theater would move rapidly to provide assistance. However, as already mentioned, we are drawing down our overseas presence in response to the end of the Cold War. Thus, the bulk of our forces, even during the early stages of a conflict, would have to come from the United States. This places a premium on rapidly deployable yet highly lethal forces to blunt an attack.
The major tasks to be performed in this phase and beyond are:
Forces for Phase 2. Many of the same forces employed in Phase 1 would be used in the second phase to perform similar tasks--grinding down the enemy's military potential while additional U.S. and other coalition combat power was brought into the region. As more land-and sea-based air forces arrived, emphasis would shift from halting the invasion to isolating enemy ground forces and destroying them, destroying enemy air and naval forces, destroying stocks of supplies, and broadening attacks on military-related targets in the enemy's rear area. These attacks could be supplemented with direct and indirect missile and artillery fire from ground, air, and naval forces.
Meanwhile, other U.S. forces, including heavy ground forces, would begin arriving in the theater to help maintain the defensive line established at the end of Phase 1 and to begin preparations for the counter-offensive.
Forces for Phase 3. The centerpiece of Phase 3 would be the U.S. and allied counteroffensive, aimed at engaging, enveloping, and destroying or capturing enemy ground forces occupying friendly territory. Major tasks within the counteroffensive include:
Combat power in this phase would include highly mobile armored, mechanized , and air assault forces, supported by the full complement of air power, special operations forces, and land-and-sea-based fire support. Amphibious forces would provide additional operational flexibility to the theater commander.
Forces for Phase 4. Finally, a smaller complement of joint forces would remain in the theater once the enemy had been defeated. These forces might include a carrier battle group, one to two wings of fighters, a division or less of ground forces, and special operations units.
The foregoing list of forces for the various phases of a major regional conflict included only combat force elements. Several types of support capabilities would play essential roles in all phases.
Airlift. Adequate airlift capacity is needed to bring in forces and material required for the first weeks of an operation. In Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the United States airlifted to the Gulf region, on average, more than 2,400 tons of material per day. We anticipate that at least the same level of lift capacity would be needed to support high-intensity military operations in the opening phase of a future MRC and to help sustain operations thereafter.
Prepositioning. Prepositioning heavy combat equipment and supplies, both ashore and afloat, can greatly reduce both the time required to deploy forces to distant regions and the number of airlift sorties devoted to moving such supplies. Initiatives now underway will accelerate the arrival of heavy Army forces overseas in response to crises.
Sealift. In any major regional conflict, most combat equipment and supplies would be transported by sea. While airlift and prepositioning provide the most rapid response for deterrence and initial defense, the deployment of significant heavy ground and air forces, their support equipment, and sustainment must come by sea.
Battefield Surveillance; Command, Control, and Communications. Accurate information on the location and disposition of enemy forces is a prerequisite for effective military operations. Hence, our planning envisions the early deployment of reconnaissance and command and control aircraft and ground-based assets to enable our forces to see the enemy and to pass information quickly through all echelons of our forces. Total U.S. intelligence and surveillance capability will be less than it was during the Cold War, but it will be better able to provide timely information to battlefield commanders. Advanced systems--such as the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System(JSTARS), the upgraded Airborne Warning and Control system,(AWACS), and the Milstar satellite communications system--will ensure that U.S. forces have a decisive advantage in tactical intelligence and communications.
Advance Munitions. As coalition operations in the Gulf War demonstrated, advanced precision-guided munitions can dramatically increase the effectiveness of a fighting force. Precision-guided munitions already in the U.S. inventory (for example, laser-guided bombs) as well as new types of munitions still under development are needed to ensure that U.S. forces can operate successfully in future MRCs and other types of conflicts. New "smart" and "brilliant" munitions under development hold promise of dramatically improving the ability of U.S. air, ground, and maritime forces to destroy enemy armored vehicles, and halt invading ground forces, as well as destroy fixed targets at longer ranges, thus reducing exposure to enemy air defenses.
Aerial Refueling. Large numbers of aerial-refueling aircraft would be needed to support many components of a U.S. theater campaign. Fighter aircraft deploying over long distances require in-flight refueling. Airlifters can carry more cargo longer distances if aerial refueling is available en route. Aerial surveillance and control platforms, such as AWACS and JSTARS, also need airborne refueling in order to achieve maximum mission effectiveness.
In planning our future force structure and allocating resources, we established force levels and support objectives that should enable us to win one MRC across a range of likely conflicts. Our detailed analyses of possible future MRCs, coupled with military judgment as to the outcomes, suggest that the following forces will be adequate to execute the strategy outlined above for a single MRC:
In this context, we decided early in the Bottom-Up Review that the United States in effect makes simultaneous wars more likely by leaving an opening for potential aggressors to attack their neighbors, should our engagement in a war in one region leave little or no force available to respond effectively to defend our interests in another.
Second, fielding forces sufficient to win two wars nearly simultaneously provides a hedge against the possibility that a future adversary--or coalition of adversaries--might one day confront us with a larger-than-expected threat. In short, it is difficult to predict precisely what threats we will confront ten to twenty years from now. In this dynamic and unpredictable post-Cold War world, we must maintain military capabilities that are flexible and sufficient to cope with unforeseen threats.
For the bulk or our ground, naval, and air forces, fielding forces sufficient to provide this capability involves duplicating the MRC building block described above. However, in planning our overall force structure, we must recognize two other factors. First, we must have sufficient strategic lift to deploy forces when and where they are needed. second, certain specialized high-leverage units or unique assets might be "dual tasked," that is, used in both MRCs. For example, certain advanced aircraft--such as B-2s, F-117s, JSTARs, and EF-111s--that we have purchased in limited numbers because of their expense would probably need to shift from the first to the second MRC.
As previously mentioned, we have already undertaken or are planning a series of enhancements to our forces to improve their capability, flexibility, and lethality. These improvements are geared especially toward buttressing our ability to conduct a successful initial defense in any major regional conflict.
As shown in Figure 5 (class handout), the enhancements include improving: (1) strategic mobility, through more prepositioning and enhancements to airlift and sealift; (2) the strike capabilities of aircraft carriers; (3) the lethality of Army firepower; and (4) the ability of long-range bombers to deliver conventional smart munitions.
Strategic Mobility. Our plans call for substantial enhancements to our strategic mobility--most of which were first identified in the 1991 Mobility Requirements Study (MRS).
First we will either continue the program to purchase and deploy the C-17 airlifter or purchase other airlifters to replace our aging c-141 transport aircraft. Development of the C-17 has been troubled from the start and we will continue to monitor the program's progress closely, but significant, modern, flexible airlift capacity is essential to our defense strategy. A decision on the C-17 will be made after a through review by the Defense Acquisition Board is completed in the fall of 1993.
Second, we plan to store a brigade set of heavy Army equipment afloat; the ships carrying this material would be positioned in areas from which they could be sent on short notice either to the Persian Gulf or to Northeast Asia. Other prepositioning initiatives would accelerate the arrival of heavy Army units in Southwest Asia and Korea.
Third, we will increase the capacity of our surge sealift fleet to transport forces and equipment rapidly from the United States to distant regions by purchasing additional roll-on/roll-off ships.
Fourth, we will improve the readiness and responsiveness of the Ready Reserve Force (RRF) through a variety of enhancements. Finally, we will fund various efforts to improve the "fort-to-port" flow of personnel, equipment, and supplies in the United States.
Naval Strike Aircraft. The Navy is examining a number of innovative ways to improve the firepower aboard its aircraft carriers. First, the Navy will improve its strike potential by providing a precision ground-attack capability to many of its F-14 aircraft. It also will acquire stocks of new "brilliant" antiarmor weapons for delivery by attack aircraft. Finally, the Navy plans to develop the capability to fly additional squadrons of F/A-18s to forward-deployed aircraft carriers that would be the first to arrive in response to a regional contingency. These additional aircraft would increase the striking power of the carriers during the critical early stages of a conflict.
Army Firepower. The Army is developing new, smart submunitions that can be delivered by ATACMS, the Multiple-Launched Rocket System (MLRS), the Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM) now under development, and by standard tube artillery. In addition, the Longbow fire control radar system will increase the effectiveness and survivability of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. We also are examining more prepositioning of ATACMS and MLRS and having Apaches self-deployed from their overseas bases so that all would be available in the early stages of a conflict.
Air Force Long-Range Bombers and Munitions. Air Force enhancements will be in two areas--bombers and munitions. First, we plan to modify the Air Force's B-1 and B-2 long-range heavy bombers to improve their ability to deliver "Smart" conventional munitions against attacking enemy forces and fixed targets. Second, we will develop all-weather munitions. For example, the Air Force is developing a guidance package for a tactical munitions dispenser filled with antiarmor sub-munitions that could be used in all types of weather. These programs will dramatically increase our capacity to attack and destroy critical targets in the crucial opening days of a short-warning conflict.
In addition, two other force enhancements are important to improving our ability to respond to the demanding requirement of two nearly simultaneous MRCs: improvements to reserve component forces and allied force capabilities.
Reserve Component Forces. We have undertaken several initiatives to improve the readiness and flexibility of Army National Guard combat units and other reserve component forces in order to make them more readily available for MRCs and other tasks. For example, one important role for combat elements of the Army National Guard is to provide forces to supplement active divisions, should more ground combat power be needed to deter or fight a second MRC. In the future, Army National Guard combat units will be better trained, more capable, and more ready. If mobilized early during a conflict, brigade-sized units cold provide extra security and flexibility if a second conflict arose while the first was still going on. In addition, the Navy plans to increase the capability and effectiveness of its Navy/Marine Corps reserve air wing through the introduction of a reserve/training aircraft carrier.
Alled Military Capabilities. We will continue to help our allies in key regions improve their defense capabilities. For example, we are assisting South Korea in its efforts to modernize its armed forces and take on greater responsibility for its own defense--including conclusion of an agreement to co-produce F-16 aircraft.
In Southwest Asia, we are continuing to improve our defense ties with friends and allies through defense cooperation agreements, more frequent joint and combined exercises, equipment prepositioning, frequent force deployments, and security assistance. We are also providing modern weapons, such as the M1A2 tank to Kuwait and the Patriot antimissile system to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, to improve the self-defense capabilities or our friends and allies in the Gulf region.
The second set of operations for which we must size and shape our forces involves a variety of contingencies that are less demanding than an MRC but still require significant combat forces and capabilities. Such operations may range from multilateral peace enforcement to unilateral intervention.
The types, numbers, and sophistication of weapons in the hands of potential adversaries in such operations can vary widely. For planning purposes, we assume that the threat we would face would include a mix of regular and irregular forces possessing mostly light weapons, supplemented by moderately sophisticated systems, such as antitank and anti-ship guided missiles, surface-to-air missiles, land and sea mines, T-54 and T-72 class tanks, armored personnel carriers, and towed artillery and mortars. Adversary forces might also possess a limited number of mostly older combat aircraft (e.g., MiG-21s, 23s), a few smaller surface ships (e.g., patrol craft), and perhaps a few submarines.
In most cases, U.S. involvement in peace enforcement operations would be as part of a multinational effort under the auspices of the United Nations or some other international body. U.S. and coalition forces would have several key objectives in a peace enforcement or intervention operation, each of which would require certain types of combat forces to achieve:
The prudent level of forces that should be planned, for a major intervention or peace enforcement operation is:
These capabilities could be provided largely by the same collection of general purpose forces needed for MRCs, so long as the forces had the appropriate training needed for peacekeeping or peace enforcement. This means that the United States would have to forgo the option of conducting sizable peace enforcement or intervention operations at the same time it was fighting two MRCs.
The final set of requirements used to size general purpose forces are those related to sustaining the overseas presence of U.S. military forces. U.S. forces deployed abroad protect and advance our interests and perform a wide range of functions that contribute to our security.
The Bottom-Up Review reached a number of conclusions on the future size and shape of our overseas presence.
In Europe we will continue to provide leadership in a reinvigorated North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has been the bedrock of European security for over four decades. We plan to retain about 100,000 troops in Europe--a commitment that will allow the United States to continue to play a leading role in the NATO alliance and provide a robust capability for multinational training and crisis response. These forces will include about two and one-third wings of Air Force fighters and substantial elements of two Army divisions, along with a corps headquarters and other supporting elements. Equipment for bringing these in-place divisions to full strength will remain prepositioned in Europe, along with the equipment of one additional division that would deploy to the region in the event of a conflict.
U.S. Army forces will participate in two multinational corps with German forces. Their training will focus on missions involving rapid deployment to conflicts outside of central Europe and on "nontraditional" operations, such as peace enforcement, in addition to their long-standing mission of stabilization of central Europe. These missions might lead, over time, to changes in the equipment and configuration of Army units stationed in Europe. The Air Force will continue to provide unique theater intelligence, lift, and all-weather precision-strike capabilities critical to U.S. and NATO missions. In addition, U.S. naval ships and submarines will continue to patrol the Mediterranean Sea and other waters surrounding Europe.
In Northeast Asia, we also plan to retain close to 100,000 troops. As recently announced by President Clinton, our commitment to South Korea's security remains undiminished, as demonstrated by the one U.S. Army division, consisting of two brigades, and one wing of U.S. Air Force combat aircraft we have stationed there. In light of the continuing threat of aggression from North Korea, we have frozen our troop levels in South Korea and are modernizing South Korean and American forces on the peninsula. We are also exploring the possibility of prepositioning more military equipment in South Korea to increase our crisis-response capability. While plans call for the eventual withdrawal of one of our two Army brigades from South Korea, President Clinton recently reiterated that our troops will stay in South Korea as long as its people want and need us there.
On Okinawa, we will continue to station a Marine Expeditionary Force and an Army special forces battalion. In Japan, we have homeported the aircraft carrier Independence, the amphibious assault ship Belleau Wood, and their support ships. We will also retain approximately one and on-half wings of Air Force combat aircraft in Japan and Okinawa, and the Navy's Seventh Fleet will continue to routinely patrol the western Pacific.
In Southwest Asia, the absence of a large-scale U.S. military presence will continue to necessitate heavier reliance on periodic deployments of forces, rather than routine stationing of forces on the ground. The Navy's Middle East force of four to six ships, which has been continuously on patrol in the Persian Gulf since 1947, will remain. In addition, we plan to keep a brigade-sized set of equipment in Kuwait to be used by rotating deployments of U.S. forces that will train and exercise there with their Kuwaiti counterparts. We also are exploring options to preposition a second brigade set elsewhere on the Arabian peninsula.
These forces have been supplemented temporarily by several squadrons of land-based combat aircraft that have remained in the Gulf region since Operation Desert Storm and, along with other coalition aircraft, are now helping to enforce U.N. resolutions toward Iraq.
Another significant element of our military posture in Southwest Asia is the equipment prepositioned on ships that are normally anchored at Diego Garcia. In addition to a brigade-sized set of equipment for the Marine Corps, we have seven afloat prepositioning ships supporting Army, Air Force, and Navy forces.
In Africa, we will continue important formal and informal access agreements to key facilities and ports which allow our forces to transit or stop on the African continent. We will also deploy forces to Africa, as in recent operations like Sharp Edge (Liberia) and Restore Hope (Somalia), when our interests are threatened or our assistance is needed and requested. Today, more than 4,000 U.S. troops remain deployed in Somalia as part of the U.N. force seeking to provide humanitarian assistance to that country.
In Latin America, our armed forces will help to promote and expand recent trends toward democracy in many countries. They will also continue to work in concert with the armed forces of Latin American countries to combat drug traffickers. The United States will also retain a military presence in Panama, acting as Panama's partner in operating and defending the Panama Canal during the transition to full Panamanian control of the waterway in 1999.
Naval Presence. Sizing our naval forces for two nearly simultaneous MRCs provides a fairly large and robust force structure that can easily support other, smaller regional operations. However, our overseas presence needs can impose requirements for naval forces, especially aircraft carriers, that exceed those needed to win two MRCs. The flexibility of our carriers, and their ability to operate effectively with relative independence from shore bases, makes them well suited to overseas presence operations, especially in areas such as the Persian Gulf, where our land-based military infrastructure is relatively underdeveloped. For these reasons, our force of aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, and other naval combatants is sized to reflect the exigencies of overseas presence, as well as the warfighting requirements of MRCs.
U.S. Navy and Marine forces continue to play important roles in our approach to overseas presence operations. In recent years, we have sought to deploy a sizable U.S. naval presence--generally, a carrier battle group accompanied by an amphibious ready group--more or less continuously in the waters off Southwest Asia, Northeast Asia, and Europe (most often, in the Mediterranean Sea). However, in order to avoid serious morale and retention problems that can arise when our forces are asked to remain deployed for excessively long periods in peacetime, we will experience some gaps in carrier presence in these areas in the future.
In order to avoid degradation to our regional security posture, we have identified a number of ways to fill gaps in carrier presence or to supplement our posture even when carriers are present. For example, in some circumstances, we may find it possible to center naval expeditionary forces around large-deck amphibious assault ships carrying AV-8B attack jets and Cobra attack helicopters, as well as a 2,000-man Marine Expeditionary Unit. Another force might consists of a Tomahawk sea-launched cruise-missile-equipped Aegis cruiser, a guided missile destroyer, attack submarines, and P-3 land-based maritime patrol aircraft.
In addition to these "maritime" approaches to sustaining overseas presence, a new concept is being developed that envisions using tailored joint forces to conduct overseas presence operations. These "Adaptive Joint Force Packages" could contain a mix of air, land, special operations, and maritime forces tailored to meet a theater commander's needs. These forces, plus designated backup units in the United States, would train jointly to provide the specific capabilities needed on station and on call during any particular period. Like maritime task forces, these joint force packages will also be capable of participating in combined military exercises with allied and friendly forces.
Together, these approaches will give us a variety of ways to manage our overseas presence profile, balancing carrier availability with the deployment of other types of units. Given this flexible approach to providing forces for overseas presence, we can meet the needs of our strategy with a fleet of eleven active aircraft carriers and one reserve/training carrier.
The changing security environment presents significant uncertainties and challenges in planning our strategic nuclear force structure. In light of the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the conclusion of the START I and II treaties, and our improving relationship with Russia, the threat of a massive nuclear attack on the United States is lower than at any time in many years.
However, a number of issues affecting our future strategic nuclear posture must still be addressed. Tens of thousands of nuclear weapons continue to be deployed on Russian territory and on the territory of three other former Soviet republics. Even under START II, Russia will retain a sizable residual nuclear arsenal. And, despite promising trends, the future political situation in Russia remains highly uncertain.
In addition, many obstacles must be overcome before the ratification of START II, foremost of which are Ukrainian ratification of START I and Ukraine's and Kazakhstan's accession to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states--a condition required by Russia prior to implementing START I. Moreover, even if these obstacles can be overcome, implementation of the reductions mandated in START I and II will not be completed for almost 10 years. Thus, while the United States has already removed more than 3,500 warheads from ballistic missile systems slated for elimination under START I (some 90 percent of the total required), in light of current uncertainties, we must take a measured approach to further reductions.
Two principal guidelines shape our future requirements for strategic nuclear forces: providing an effective deterrent while remaining within START I and II limits, and allowing for additional forces to be reconstituted in the event of a threatening reversal of events.
The Bottom-Up Review did not address nuclear force structure in detail. As a follow-up to the review, a comprehensive study of U.S. nuclear forces is being conducted. For planning purposes, we are evolving toward a future strategic nuclear force that by 2003 will include: