Missions for Nuclear Weapons after the Cold War

By January 23, 2005

This report (PDF) examines currently proposed nuclear missions and finds that the United States is witnessing the end of a long process of having nuclear weapons be displaced by advanced conventional alternatives.

The most challenging nuclear mission is a holdover from the Cold War: to be able to carry out a disarming first strike against Russian central nuclear forces. Only if the US and Russia abandon this mission will meaningful reductions in the two largest arsenals be possible.

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