Nuclear Weapons

Cautious Interim Report From Congressional Strategic Posture Commission

12.15.08 | 1 min read | Text by Hans Kristensen
The interim report from the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States appears to reinstate Russia as a center for U.S. nuclear thinking.

By Hans M. Kristensen

The Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States has published an interim report that buys into many of the arguments of the Bush administration, but also appears to accept some points made by the arms control community.

Overall, however, the report comes across as a cautious and somewhat lukewarm report that doesn’t rock the boat; that appears to reinstate Russia at the center of U.S. nuclear thinking; that strongly reaffirms extended nuclear deterrence (but ignores whether that requires U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Europe); that accepts many of the administration’s key arguments for modernizing the nuclear weapons production complex and building modified nuclear weapons; that accepts a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (if the Stockpile Stewardship Program is revitalized); that recommends additional reductions in deployed and (if the production complex is modernized) reserve warheads; that sees nuclear disarmament as a distant future dream; and accepts that a strong and credible nuclear posture likely will be needed for the “indefinite future.”

The findings will be subject to five months of debate before the full report is published in April 2009. After that the Obama administration is expected to conduct a Nuclear Posture Review.