Groups Thank SECDEF for Unclassified NPR, Stockpile Data

05.05.10 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Leaders of more than a dozen public interest organizations and professional societies wrote to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to applaud two recent achievements in nuclear weapons transparency: the publication of the Nuclear Posture Review Report for the first time in unclassified format and the disclosure of the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

“We believe that the public release of the unclassified NPR Report is a significant and long-overdue step in the maturation of our national nuclear policy,” the public interest groups wrote.  “Release of the unclassified NPR Report will not resolve the continuing debate over the future of nuclear weapons policy, but it will enable it to proceed on a more informed basis.”

“Similarly, the declassification of the current nuclear stockpile is an historic milestone both in nuclear weapons policy and in classification policy…. We believe this disclosure will serve to strengthen what should be an international norm of increasing transparency on nuclear matters.  By leading through example, we hope the U.S. action will elicit a response in kind from other nuclear nations.”

“We also look forward to further steps, including the Department’s future implementation of the Fundamental Classification Guidance Review that was required by the President’s executive order…. This initiative should help to eliminate other obsolete or unnecessary classification restrictions.”

The May 4 letter was coordinated by OpenTheGovernment.org.