The 21st Century Nuclear Arsenal – A Report by the American Security Project
The policy of the United States is clear. The, “Nuclear Weapons Umbrella” maintained by the USA, serves not only to deter attack on the USA, but also to protect their allies’ security. The deterrent covers NATO, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Australia.
Rethinking and Reshaping the American Nuclear Deterrent and its Forces for the 21st Century
1. Nuclear weapons have been a bulwark of the U.S. national security strategy for nearly seven decades. The thinking surrounding the employment of these weapons is nearly as old. The international system has changed greatly since that time, and consequently, America’s nuclear strategy must change to adapt to this new system or risk fading into ineffectiveness and irrelevancy.
2. Massive arsenals of politically unusable weapons simply no longer fit the deterrent needs of the United States — and the size of the U.S. arsenal is an irrelevant factor in deterring proliferation. Therefore, U.S. national security is better served by diverting resources toward strategies, weapons, and equipment that are designed to address the challenges it faces today.
3. To move toward a new effective strategy, the U.S. should develop a three-tiered strategy for deterrence; reduce in size it’s nuclear arsenal; reanalyze and better coordinate its counter-proliferation efforts; and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Lawmakers and the media should address these issues with the breadth and seriousness they deserve.
Summary; Major change is beyond the talking stage. The USA nuclear arsenal is to be much reduced. The cost of maintaining it is prohibitive. Nuclear weapons require a nations available finance to be diverted away from conventional forces, (witness the massive reductions in the UK armed forces in the last year or so). The USA will increase their conventional forces, finance being diverted away from nuclear weapons that will never be used.