U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy

Overview

In recent years, the dangers associated with nuclear weapons and the complexities of addressing these dangers have steadily grown. Relations with a nuclear-armed Russia could become adversarial. China's level of strategic development of nuclear technology remains unclear. Nuclear technologies are illicitly transferred through black markets. Equally important, new threats continue to grow from emerging nuclear states, such as Iran and North Korea, and from terrorist groups who may gain access to nuclear weapons. ...

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Overview

In recent years, the dangers associated with nuclear weapons and the complexities of addressing these dangers have steadily grown. Relations with a nuclear-armed Russia could become adversarial. China's level of strategic development of nuclear technology remains unclear. Nuclear technologies are illicitly transferred through black markets. Equally important, new threats continue to grow from emerging nuclear states, such as Iran and North Korea, and from terrorist groups who may gain access to nuclear weapons. In this new and dangerous world, the United States must address and reassess its nuclear weapons policy.

Under the leadership of former secretary of defense William J. Perry and former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, an independent task force takes a fresh look at current U.S. nuclear doctrine and policy and determines the underlying purpose of America's nuclear weapons. Their report outlines a strategy for achieving the fundamental objectives of U.S. nuclear weapons through the skillful management of important political relationships and relevant amendments to policies on nonproliferation, arms control, nuclear terrorism prevention, securing nuclear weapons and weapons-usable materials, and ensuring crisis stability.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780876094204
  • Publisher: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Publication date: 6/15/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 90
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

William J. Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian professor at Stanford University. He served as secretary of defense to President Bill Clinton. Brent Scowcroft is the resident trustee of the Forum for International Policy. He served as national security adviser to presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. Charles D. Ferguson is the Philip D. Reed Senior Fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Chairs' Preface xi

Acknowledgments xvii

Acronyms xix

A Note on Definitions xxi

Task Force Report 1

Executive Summary 3

The Need for a New Policy Assessment 7

The New Security Environment 22

U.S.-Russia Relations 29

U.S.-China Relations 42

Preventing Proliferation 46

Security Practices and the Future of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex 67

Recommendations 81

Additional or Dissenting Views 97

Endnotes 101

Task Force Members 107

Task Force Observers 117

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