The Role Of Nuclear Weapons In The Cold War

The Role Of Nuclear Weapons In The Cold War
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C O N T E N T S:


  • The role of nuclear weapons in Russian national security policy has fluctuated since the end of the Cold War following several iterations of its post-Soviet military doctrine.(More…)
  • The political climate of the Cold war became more defined in January, 1954, when U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announced the policy that came to be known as “massive retaliation” — any major Soviet attack would be met with a massive nuclear response.(More…)
  • During this phase of the Cold War, Communist Cuba played a significant role alongside the USSR, while the Chinese, now deeply wary of the USSR, participated on the side of the United States.(More…)
  • The fear in the cold war was so great that President Truman over-ruled his advisors and built the hydrogen bomb.(More…)
  • Although nuclear weapons have not been used since the end of World War II, their influence on international security affairs is pervasive, and possession of WMD remains an important divide in international politics today.(More…)
  • Widespread deployment of nuclear weapons in theater, such as nuclear artillery, mines and surface-to-surface missiles, would ensure escalation if war began, thus deterring any Soviet use of conventional military superiority in Europe, while avoiding the cost of matching that Soviet force.(More…)
  • Today, U.S. allies in East Asia and Europe alike rely on credible commitments from the United States to use nuclear weapons first to deter major nonnuclear threats against them.(More…)
  • Of the 50 million people who died in World War II, 99.5% were killed by conventional, not nuclear, weapons.(More…)
  • In the early days of the Cold War, in the 1950s, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis Lemay advanced a doctrine of massive retaliation.(More…)
  • While the sudden appearance of a few tens of nuclear weapons causes only a small stir in a world where several thousands of such weapons already exist, their appearance in a world without nuclear weapons would produce huge effects. (The impact of the first two weapons in ending World War II should be a sufficient example.)(More…)
  • According to cold war historian John Lewis Gaddis, who was interviewed about the Korean War for a 1999 PBS documentary “American Experience: Race for the Superbomb,” the role of the atomic bomb was undefined.(More…)


  • With respect to Russian use of such weapons, the United States and NATO rely on their arsenal of nonstrategic and strategic nuclear as well as their conventional forces to respond to such employment.(More…)
  • While still possessing formidable inventories of nuclear and conventional weapons, the Soviet state shows no will to use its military power externally, and almost certainly lacks the political coherence to do so.(More…)
  • In an about face, in 1962, the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles to Cuba in order to try to force U.S. concessions on Europe became another example of atomic diplomacy.(More…)
  • A second problem that must be considered in the arms control arena, as well as in defense planning, is the likely continuing trend of proliferation of both nuclear and other destructive weapons in rogue states – who could not hope to directly defeat the United States in a general conflict, but who might very well be prepared to use these weapons in an attempt to deter the U.S. from intervening in what they perceive to be their regional conflicts.(More…)
  • There was the underlying fear that an atomic bombardment might not produce a decisive victory after allthat the nuclear deterrent would not deter.(More…)



The role of nuclear weapons in Russian national security policy has fluctuated since the end of the Cold War following several iterations of its post-Soviet military doctrine. [1] During the Cold War, the role of nuclear weapons was shaped by the nature of the opponent-the Soviet Union, a fellow nuclear superpower-and reliance on the “balance of terror.” [2] The role of nuclear weapons today is different than it was during the Cold War, but the lessons of the Cold War are still instructive. [2]

During the Cold War, the French nuclear deterrent was centered around the Force de frappe, a nuclear triad consisting of Dassault Mirage IV bombers carrying such nuclear weapons as the AN-22 gravity bomb and the ASMP stand-off attack missile, Pluton and Hades ballistic missiles, and the Redoutable class submarine armed with strategic nuclear missiles. [3] With the end of the Cold War, the United States and Russia cut down on nuclear weapons spending. citation needed Fewer new systems were developed and both arsenals were reduced; although both countries maintain significant stocks of nuclear missiles. [3] The Cold War arms race also resulted in the Soviet Union accumulating a vast arsenal of strategic and non-strategic (also known as ” tactical “) nuclear weapons. [1] There are two common ways of understanding the development of nuclear weapons and the arms race that took place between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. [4] In addition to the United States and the Soviet Union, three other nations, the United Kingdom, 20 People’s Republic of China, 21 and France 22 developed nuclear weapons during the early cold war years. [3] During the Cold War, nuclear weapons were relied upon by the United States and its NATO allies to counter, or offset, the conventional advantage of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. [5] During the Cold War, tactical nuclear weapons were deployed in almost every Soviet republic. [1] Learning to love the bomb: Canada’s nuclear weapons during the Cold War. [3] We have the Cold War over-hang: these twenty two or so thousand nuclear weapons we have left over from the Cold War. [6] Following the formal end of the Cold War, most of the nuclear weapons were dismantled or recycled. [7] After the Cold War ended, large inventories of nuclear weapons and facilities remained. [3] Some argue that nuclear weapons are responsible for what historian John Lewis Gaddis called the “long peace” of the Cold War. [5] Nuclear technology was not limited to nuclear weapons during the cold war. [8]

This chapter, which examines the role of nuclear weapons in the Cold War and the role of the Cold War in the nuclear revolution, argues that the development of nuclear weapons significantly affected the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union beyond the nuclear crises and arms races. [9] Two new elements that were not part of Cold War strategic forces affected the role of nuclear weapons powerfully. [10] Were our expectations about the role of nuclear weapons wrong after the end of the Cold War? Would a change in super power relations provide a more positive outlook toward the future? The event provided a great deal of food for thought and active engagement by all participants. [11] The transformation aspirations reflected in the administration’s defense policy had a nuclear component as well, although the role of nuclear weapons would be much smaller than during the Cold War. [10]

The use of nuclear weapons was historically a specialized mission that was separate from conventional military operations (except in the case of North Atlantic Treaty Organization operations during the Cold War). [10] The use of a nuclear weapon is now more likely than any time since the worst days of the cold war, but the probability of humanity being wiped out entirely by nuclear war is, for the time being, diminished. [12] As the years have passed since the cold war, it has become increasingly clear that we had several lucky escapes from nuclear weapons use during that era as the result of miscalculation or technical glitches. [12] Although the West had doubts about the military usefulness of nuclear weapons during the Cold War, archival evidence confirms that the Soviet Union would have used nuclear weapons from the outset had war broken out in Europe. [10]

While the role and prominence of nuclear weapons in U.S. security policy has diminished with the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons continue to provide an essential component of national security. [13] More recent films, since the cold war, have dwelt on the threat of a single nuclear weapon detonated by terrorists or deranged geniuses or both. [12] The enormous buildup of nuclear weapons since 1945 was primarily, but not entirely, the product of the Cold War. [14] Although only a few of the nuclear weapons developed during the Cold War were retained for the stockpile, a much larger number of fully developed and tested designs were created. [10] The Cold War provided answers to the central questions nuclear weapons raised. [15] The nuclear weapons manufacturing complex was significantly scaled back after the end of the Cold War in the hope that only weapon remanufacturing rather than series production would be required in the future. [10] Nuclear weapons are so central to the history of the Cold War that it can be difficult to disentangle the two. [16] These circumstances during the Cold War created a need for a large integrated nuclear weapons design, engineering, testing, and manufacturing complex capable of continuous modernization and series production as well as support for an inventory of thousands of weapons. [10] From a peak of 70,000 nuclear weapons in the world at the height of the cold war, in 1985, there are now about 14,000, according to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), still enough to end life on the planet. [12]

Leads and lags in an arms race against a background of a hegemonic struggle characterized the Cold War as well, but the deterrent effect of weapons of mass destruction made “now or never” calculations much less tempting for the superpowers of the nuclear age. [17] During the Cold War and even today, the credible threat of the United States using its nuclear weapons first against an adversary has been an important component of reassuring allies. [18] After the Cold War, it was revealed that American and British military commanders were authorised to use tactical nuclear weapons, should war break out with the Soviet Union. [19] These issues at Hanford and other nuclear sites are reminders that nuclear weapons production is a risky process – and that in Washington state and elsewhere, legacies of the Cold War are still very much with us. [20] As the number of weapons required for the United States to execute its obsolete Cold War strike plans decreases, the pace of retirement and dismantlement of unneeded nuclear weapons should correspondingly increase. [21] During most of the Cold War, delivery systems were not particularly accurate, which required that nuclear weapons have very large yields to reliably strike a target that might be located miles away from the point of detonation (many hydrogen bombs were in the several megaton range). [22] France has maintained a first-use nuclear posture since it first developed and tested nuclear weapons during the Cold War. [18] Paranoia about nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war was a distinguishing feature of Cold War society. [19] Major sites in the Cold War nuclear weapons production complex. [20]

The political climate of the Cold war became more defined in January, 1954, when U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announced the policy that came to be known as “massive retaliation” — any major Soviet attack would be met with a massive nuclear response. [23] The Nuclear bomb is a weapon of war that prevents wars, essentially a deterrent, never to be used. [24] Summary: Nuclear arms remain highly significant in relations and strategic dynamics between the United States and Russia, not simply as symbols but also as instruments of coercive leverage in crisis and deadly weapons in the event of war. [25]

The possibility that war might not be inevitable and that nuclear weapons had a more complex role in foreign and military policy became more accepted by military thinkers. [24] During this phase the role of nuclear weapons is to be the basic munition in an upcoming war. [24]

Can nuclear weapons be used to fight a war? No; their role is to deter via punishment. [5]

The nuclear arms race was a competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies during the Cold War. [3] The Cold War then ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but the effects of nuclear technology was still profound in that period of time. [8] Although these two approaches were developed in the context of the dyadic, U.S.-Soviet Cold War relationship, they continue to frame the post-Cold War nuclear policy and strategy debate. [5]

Many wars that would have broken out during the Cold war (e.g Cuban-American War), were stopped due to the presence of a nuclear bomb. [24] The collaboration between Cold War foes, led then by U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, is one of numerous examples of Washington and Moscow working together to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. [26] While the often over-simplified picture of deterrence during the Cold War – two behemoths armed to the teeth, staring each other down – has thankfully retreated into history, there are nevertheless huge arsenals of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, all in quite usable states, that could be brought back quickly to their Cold War postures. [27] During the Cold War, forecasts suggested an inverse relationship between super power extended security guarantees to Nth states and the spread of nuclear weapons. [28] During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union each built a stockpile of nuclear weapons. [29] The overwhelming importance of the problem of nuclear weapons has posed an existential threat since the early years of the Cold War and has made this an essential focus. [30] Throughout the Cold War and ever since, there has been a steady proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction by other nations around the globe. [27] Anyone affiliated with the Future of Life Institute concerned with nuclear weapons ought to study the some of the books published in the past 20 years about the history of the struggle for peace, for nuclear disarmament, and for an end to the Cold War. [31] Despite the end of the Cold War over two decades ago, humanity still has over 14,400 nuclear weapons. [31] It also highlights a key moment in Cold War cooperation that helped prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to the African continent. [26]

Late stage cold war weapons systems like ground launched cruise missiles served more of a political than strategic purpose. [24] The Cold War arsenal must be adjusted, in numbers and types of weapons, to provide deterrence in a new and dynamic situation. [2]

One basic reason why is that the United States and NATO do not need such weapons to compensate for deficiencies in their conventional capabilities, as was the case during the Cold War. [25] Subsequent Soviet leaders would increasingly view military strategy and international relations through the prism of nuclear weapons, and although the USSR had not achieved nuclear parity by the time of Stalin’s death, both the Soviet Union and the United States quickly realized that nuclear war was unacceptable. [1] The nuclear revolution emerged during a conflict, and nuclear weapons have not been used in war since August 1945. [5] Although nuclear weapons were only ever used in warfare during the Second World War, there have been over 2000 nuclear weapons tests since then. [4] It is a common misconception that more and more nations are exploring and developing nuclear weapons since the Second World War. [4] France became the fourth nation to possess nuclear weapons on February 13, 1960, when the atomic bomb ” Gerboise Bleue ” was detonated in Algeria, 25 then still a French colony France began making plans for a nuclear-weapons program shortly after the Second World War, but the program did not actually begin until the late 1950s. [3]

While according to one expert, “the Russian government never formalized these new missions,” the debate “helped propel nuclear weapons into the center of attention, if only for a limited time, and created a perception that they could address specific security concerns, i.e., their role could go beyond existential deterrence.” [1] Nikolai Sokov, “The Evolving Role of Nuclear Weapons in Russia’s Security Policy,” in ed. William C. Potter and Cristina Hansell, Engaging China and Russia on Nuclear Disarmament, CNS Occasional Paper 15, April 2009, pp. 76-77. [1] In December 2014, President Vladimir Putin approved a new military doctrine; however, it made no changes to the role of nuclear weapons in Russia’s national security strategy. [1] Today most advocates of Assured Destruction, or a minimalist approach, argue that the only role for nuclear weapons is the deterrence of the use of nuclear weapons. [5] The new nuclear posture of the United States says that the fundamental role of nuclear weapons is to prevent a nuclear attack on the United States and its allies. [6] The United States had to determine what role nuclear weapons were to play. [5] Nuclear weapons still have a very powerful psychological role in Israel even though they don’t serve a strategic purpose. [6]

Development of nuclear artillery shells and similarly tactical weapons slowed in this period as the role of nuclear weapons became increasingly a strategic one with an expectation of non-use. [24] At a recent Heritage Foundation event, a panel of experts examined the role of nuclear weapons in the 21st century and their requirements, such as delivery systems, warhead designs, and technology. [2] This WebMemo is based on presentations given at “The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the 21 st Century,” a public event held at The Heritage Foundation on Monday, March 14, 2005. [2] In each of these stages the role of nuclear weapons changed. [24]

These weapons envisioned a World War very much like WWII but fought with nuclear weapons at nearly every level. [24]

Arguably though, nuclear weapons helped prevent war between the two superpowers, because any war at all could have escalated into a nuclear war, destroying both countries and the world along with them. [8] With respect to the latter, however, the 2010 document places tighter restrictions on the circumstances in which Russia would employ nuclear weapons in a conventional conflict, stating that they would be used in situations when “the very existence of the state is under threat,” walking back language from 2000 which envisioned use “in situations critical to the national security of the Russian Federation.” [1] If nuclear power is going to play a role in solving one of the great global threats–global warming–we have to make sure that the process doesn’t exacerbate the threat of nuclear weapons. [6] Nuclear weapons continue to play a very important role in U.S.-Russian relations, and indeed their role is likely increasing. [25] Nuclear weapons do actually play an important and possibly growing role in U.S.-Russian relations, and not merely as a totem of political significance. [25] Nuclear weapons arguably have played a role in discouraging both horizontal and vertical proliferation. [5] In addition to their role as status symbols, nuclear weapons have served as an equalizer. [5] Again as in the past, nuclear weapons continue to play a role in dampening defense spending. [5]

Over time, a very high level of strategic interdependence developed among the states that possessed nuclear weapons, at least among those that possessed large quantities of them–the U.S. and USSR were very sensitive to each other?s nuclear moves. [5] If you believe that the threat of nuclear terrorism and new nuclear states is the number one security threat to your security as a nation, then you have to do everything in your power to reduce or eliminate that threat, and you have got to move towards a world with zero nuclear weapons. [6] Is it a coincidence that the first five nuclear powers were the five permanent members of the UN Security Council? Of course they?re also the only nuclear weapons states recognized by the Nonproliferation Treaty of 1968. [5]

It is also worth remembering that the destructive power of each nuclear warhead has increased significantly since the first atomic weapons used in the Second World War. [4] While the international response to the detonation was muted, citation needed domestic pressure within Pakistan began to build steam and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the test, detonated 6 nuclear war weapons ( Chagai-I and Chagai-II ) in a tit-for-tat fashion and to act as a deterrent. [3]

The Soviet Union was not informed officially of the Manhattan Project until Stalin was briefed at the Potsdam Conference on July 24, 1945, by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, 3 4 eight days after the first successful test of a nuclear weapon. [3] 1986 was also the year of the Reykjavik summit, when President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev came close to an agreement on abolishing all offensive nuclear weapons within a decade, a deal that eventually stumbled on the issue of U.S. missile defense development. [1] As Russia acquired nuclear weapons and the arms-race launched in full force in the 1950s, the U.S. went from around two hundred nuclear weapons in 1949 to around 20,000 nuclear weapons by 1960. [6] Russia became the world’s second nuclear weapon state after it tested its first device at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan on 29 August 1949. [1] Russia’s reliance on nuclear weapons was low throughout the early 1990s, but subsequently increased in the early 2000s amidst concerns about its conventional inferiority vis-à-vis NATO, before declining slightly in its latest iteration from 2010, which brings Russian nuclear doctrine more in line with the policies of other nuclear weapon states. [1] The Soviet nuclear weapons effort switched gears, and on 20 August 1945 the State Defense Committee ( Gosudarstvenny Komitet Oborony, GKO) established a Special Committee ( Spetskom ) to direct the nuclear effort. [1] The bomb cannot be un-invented, and as we sit here, a state of permanent check-mate exists between nations who have nuclear weapons, those without, and many combinations thereof. [6] Today it is one of five recognized nuclear weapon states under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), a status which it inherited as the legal successor of the Soviet Union. [1] On August 5, 1963, representatives of the United States, Soviet Union and Great Britain signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater or in the atmosphere. [17] The United States can afford such an asymmetry in “nonstrategic” nuclear forces because it is very likely that any substantial or persisting use of its “tactical” nuclear weapons by Moscow would escalate to the strategic nuclear level in ways in which Moscow would not have an advantage. [25] The nuclear weapons capability of any state always link to the greater strategic needs of that state. [6] As it turns out, Israel has now got more conventional military power than any of its neighbours or any combination of its neighbours and so nuclear weapons are less of a security need for Israel and more of a security threat. [6] Both Soviet and American experts hoped to use nuclear weapons for extracting concessions from the other, or from other powers such as China, but the risk connected with using these weapons was so grave that they refrained from what John Foster Dulles referred to as brinkmanship. [3] During this period, in addition to the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles, other countries developed nuclear weapons, though none engaged in warhead production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers. [3] Although it formally dropped the Soviet Union’s no- first-use policy, the document “did not assign any specific missions to nuclear weapons and did not define any threats to which nuclear weapons were supposed to respond.” [1] He is author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and served previously as senior vice president for national security and international policy at the Centre for American Progress and as director for non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for eight years. [6] The efforts to reduce the desire and drive for nuclear weapons have been so successful over the past few years that we have gotten rid of most of the aspiring states. [6] There’s a strong connection between the maintenance of nuclear weapons in state arsenals and the risk of nuclear terrorism. [6] Nuclear weapons (as much as walls) are a proxy for our fear, and as long as fear remains, so too will this permanent state of checkmate and opacity which means that many of the world’s countries are in a constant nuclear readiness; with very little provocation being required to create a short but profound conflict. [6] A second reason that nuclear weapons could be used is that both Russia and the United States are capable of employing these arms in limited and relatively controlled ways. [25] Beginning in WWII, the first nuclear weapon was built by the U.S. and to be used on Nazi Germany and its allies. [7] Nunn-Lugar included U.S. Department of Defense-led efforts to secure nuclear storage facilities and nuclear weapons in transit, as well as to dismantle and destroy nuclear warheads, ICBMs and their launchers, air-launched missiles and bombers, nuclear submarines, and SLBMs. [1] The 1991-1992 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNI) led to substantial reductions in U.S. and Russian deployments of non-strategic nuclear weapons, but did not require Washington or Moscow to exchange information about their respective holdings or include a mechanism to verify implementation. [1] It started in October of 1962, when the U.S. found out Russia was stockpiling nuclear weapons on Cuba. [8] Russia also possesses a large number of non-strategic or tactical nuclear weapons that most analysts believe are assigned to air, naval, and ground-based air-defense and ABM forces. [1] Russia is currently in the process of modernizing and recapitalizing its entire arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons and delivery systems. [1] According to SORT, each party would reduce the number of its deployed strategic nuclear weapons arsenal to a quantity between 1,700 and 2,200 by the end of 2012. [1]

Under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet nuclear weapons were increasingly used as a tool in pursuit of military and diplomatic objectives. [1] While American experts had predicted that the Soviet Union would not have nuclear weapons until the mid-1950s, the first Soviet bomb was detonated on August 29, 1949, shocking the entire world. [3] Gorbachev proposed a 50% reduction of nuclear weapons for both the U.S and Soviet Union at the meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland in October 1986. [3] The race for nuclear supremacy took place right after the end of WWII, when the U.S, Soviet Union, and their other allies began to build an abundance of nuclear weapons. [7] Other nations began to follow in the footsteps of the U.S. and USSR. In the 1950s and 1960s, the United Kingdom, France, and China all developed their own nuclear weapons. [7] Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, “Statement by H.E. Anatoly Antonov, Ambassador-at-Large, Head of Delegation of the Russian Federation at the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” 27 April 2004, p. 3, [1] During the United Nation’s first General Assembly in London in January 1946, they discussed the future of Nuclear Weapons and created the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission. [3] You have some countries like China who have pledged never to use nuclear weapons first. [6] Russia only envisioned use of nuclear weapons in a large-scale global conflict, the likelihood of which was believed to be “negligible” at the time. [1] In the mid-1950s, attention turned to possible battlefield uses of nuclear weapons, which followed the trajectory of NATO policy at that time. [1] Like the previous version, the 2010 doctrine envisions the use of nuclear weapons to retaliate against a nuclear attack, an attack involving other WMD, and in response to a large-scale conventional attack. [1] When we consider nuclear weapons within Israel’s security, they have not served their main purpose of defending the country against attack; Israel has been attacked since it acquired nuclear weapons and it bears no relationships to their main threat, which is the conflict with Palestine. [6] If NATO, for example, as the most powerful military alliance in history, insists that nuclear weapons are essential to its security, then why aren’t nuclear weapons essential for other countries? Why exactly can’t Iran have a nuclear weapon? Or Burma? Or Brazil even! The only way to stop a nuclear weapon from being detonated is to get rid of them. [6] If we can make progress towards resolving the Israeli/Palestinian crisis and containing the Iranian programme, then I think in talks aimed at establishing a new security regime in the Middle East where each country respects the territorial integrity of the other countries, you will have to talk about nuclear weapons and it will become more likely that Israel will be willing to bargain away an arsenal that no longer serves its purpose for a security regime that does. [6] We know that clerics within the Al-Qaeda movement have issued fatwa declaring it the duty of Muslims to acquire a nuclear weapon to strike back at the United States and other countries. [6] There was a new poll published by the Associated Press in the United States just yesterday that found that 67% of the American public think all the countries in the world should eliminate nuclear weapons. [6] When you ask them whether the United States and its allies should keep nuclear weapons but stop everyone else from getting them only 16% felt that that was a realistic policy; but that is in fact our existing policy, which is unrealistic! Getting to global zero is the more realistic and logical solution to the problem and we’re heading in that direction. [6] This includes people as respected as former Secretary of State George Schulz, Henry Kissinger, James Baker, and Colin Powell–all of whom say that we have to move towards eliminating nuclear weapons. [6] The beginnings of the Soviet nuclear weapons program were heavily influenced by espionage. [1]

Escalation had proceeded too far for that and the task of the nuclear weapons in both the American and Soviet arsenals began to change. [24] Political leadership of the nation in question would authorize the use of nuclear weapons to the military command structure. [24] Strategic nuclear weapons are what most picture when you start talking about nuclear weapons. [24] We have at least one world leader that may have that distinction (POTUS #45) and another leader that has potentially some weapons ready to go(North Korea?s Kim Il Sun), that may persuade the other major holders of Nuclear weapons ready to be launched (China and Russia) to support them. [24] The Nuclear Posture Review prescribed a flexible nuclear weapons policy. [2] The time is right to look with renewed energy at what is being done in the nuclear weapons field. [2] This in turn dictated the numbers and types of nuclear weapons required. [2] In this way, nuclear weapons became entirely tools of diplomacy and parlay: things to be negotiated with rather than actually used. [24]

During this phase of the Cold War, Communist Cuba played a significant role alongside the USSR, while the Chinese, now deeply wary of the USSR, participated on the side of the United States. [23] The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest moment to nuclear war in the Cold War. [8] During the Cold War, British nuclear deterrence came from submarines and nuclear-armed aircraft. [3]

The end of the Cold War also created an opportunity for further reductions in strategic arms, including the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) in 1991, which limited both the United States and the Soviet Union to 1,600 deployed delivery vehicles that could carry no more than 6,000 “accountable” warheads. [1] By the 1970s, with the cold war entering its 30th year with no direct conflict between the superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union entered a period of reduced conflict, in which the two powers engaged in trade and exchanges with each other. [3] From the beginning of the Cold War, The United States, Russia, and other nations have all attempted to develop Anti-ballistic missiles. [3] Known as the Cold War, this battle pitted the world?s two great powers-the democratic, capitalist United States and the communist Soviet Union-against each other. [17] The North Atlantic Alliance emphasized just such potential forms of employment during the Cold War through its Flexible Response doctrine to attempt to deter the Soviet bloc, especially once the USSR achieved the ability to strike the U.S. homeland during the 1960s. [25] The new qualitative improvements embodied in the last American arms spurt of the Cold War made Soviet military leaders nervous and helps explain why they were willing in the mid-1980s to accept the new ideas promoted by Mikhail Gorbachev in hopes of raising the technological level of Soviet society. [17] If the Soviets had invaded Western Europe during the Cold War, deterrence would have failed. [5]

A lot of Cold War historians use this phrase with respect to China but not the Soviet Union, in large part because Ronald Reagan?s “evil empire” rhetoric and the close calls of the 1980s suggested a lingering paranoia and distrust between the powers. [24] The most serious Cold War confrontation between the United States and the USSR that took place in October, 1962. [23] This event ends America’s monopoly of atomic weaponry and launches the Cold War. [23] It was the last time during the Cold War that either side would take this risk. [23] As a result to the challenge of “massive retaliation” came the most significant by-product of the Cold War, the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). [23]

From the closing of the Cold War until recently, the implausibility of actual conflict breaking out between NATO and Russia thus meant that arms control efforts were, while often constructive, not very important. [25]

In addition to its nuclear weapons capabilities, Russia possesses an extensive civilian nuclear power infrastructure, including 35 operating nuclear power reactors located at 10 nuclear power stations, and a vast network of fuel cycle facilities. [1] Nuclear weapons have thus served as a substitute for conventional forces. [5] Shortly after Joseph Stalin was initially informed of the development of a nuclear weapon in July 1945, the U.S. was ordered to drop two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [7] The U.S. development of nuclear weapons was replicated by the USSR (1949), Britain (1952), France (1960), China (1964), Israel (1966/67), India (1974, 1998) and Pakistan (1998), and the DPRK (2006). [5] It envisioned the use of nuclear weapons to “de-escalate” a limited, regional conflict in the event deterrence failed. [1] Such more discriminate usage has long been recognized as a potential way to gain value from nuclear weapons beyond threats of general use, the implementation of which would likely be tantamount to suicide. [25] In almost every case where a country has decided to acquire a nuclear weapon they have done it either for power–the power to protect their country from external threats or a desire to project their power in the region. [6] Substantial numbers of nuclear weapons and delivery systems located in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan had to be secured and transported to Russian facilities for dismantlement. [1] Missiles had long been regarded the ideal platform for nuclear weapons, and were potentially a more effective delivery system than bombers. [3] In the late 1950s, China began developing nuclear weapons with substantial Soviet assistance in exchange for uranium ore. [3] This caused the Soviets to cease helping China develop nuclear weapons. [3] At that time, many countries that could afford to do so, started a nuclear weapons program. [8] If the countries with nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons materials insist on keeping large stockpiles of these weapons and materials around, it’s only a matter of time before the demand hooks up with the source. [6] There are one hundred and eighty three countries in the world that have signed the non-proliferation treaty, and promised never to acquire nuclear weapons. [6] More countries have given up nuclear weapons or programmes in the past twenty-five years than have tried to acquire them, and that includes Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, South-Africa, Libya, and Iraq. [6] As long as nuclear power exists, we have to make sure that it’s controlled in such a way that it does not allow countries to acquire nuclear weapons under the guise of a peaceful civilian programme. [6] It also has a very large and varied arsenal of shorter-range or “tactical” nuclear weapons, with at least some of these designed to be employable for military effect on the battlefield. [25] The Nuclear Revolution is both a revolution in military affairs (RMA) and more than an “ordinary” RMA. From the start, nuclear weapons were regarded as so qualitatively different that everything that came before was rendered “conventional.” [5] Do nuclear weapons represent a revolutionary military development? Yes; indeed, assured destruction is based on this presumption. [5] Certainly, the United States wanted to develop nuclear weapons before Germany did. [5] That’s why you saw the United Nations take up as its very first order of business a resolution to eliminate nuclear weapons. [6] The first nuclear weapons were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. [4] The first is to look at the stockpiles of nuclear weapons each superpower built up. [4] The goal of this assembly was to eliminate the use of all Nuclear weapons. [3] There’s no question that it would be far easier to eliminate nuclear weapons if there were no nuclear power–if there were no commercial use of nuclear technology. [6] Given the potential for conflict between NATO and Russia, these factors mean that nuclear weapons (and defense strategy and posture more broadly) are receiving increasing attention in Alliance capitals, and this attention is only likely to grow. [25] At the 2004 NPT Preparatory Committee meeting, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov announced Russia had “practically completed” its non-strategic nuclear weapons initiatives “except for eliminating the Army’s nuclear weapons,” which was delayed, in part, due to funding shortages. [1] Put simply, both sides have the power to wreak unprecedented destruction on the other through the employment of nuclear weapons even in the face of a determined effort by the other to preempt or defend against it. [25] For some, nuclear weapons clearly are a status symbol, an indicator or attribute of major power status. [5] Nuclear weapons continue to be built for basically two reasons: power and prestige. [6] I think nuclear weapons, just as we have for all practical purposes eliminated biological and chemical weapons from the major powers, must be eliminated too. [6] While both sides now had the power to completely wipe out each other, they were limited in how to transport their nuclear weapons. [7] American leaders hoped that their exclusive ownership of nuclear weapons would be enough to draw concessions from the Soviet Union but this proved ineffective. [3] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Nonstrategic nuclear weapons, 2012,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 65, No. 5 (September/October 2012), p. 98. [1] In 1952, the United Kingdom became the third nation to possess nuclear weapons when it detonated an atomic bomb in Operation Hurricane 23 on October 3, 1952, which had a yield of 25 kilotons. [3] As long as any nation has nuclear weapons, other nations will want them. [6] Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons but maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity. [4] Well, if nuclear weapons were so great, why would they make that pledge? They calculate that it’s in their own security interests not to have weapons, and to make sure that none of their neighbours have nuclear weapons. [6] What you realise is that we have two phenomena that are still promoting the illusion that nuclear weapons can provide security or prestige. [6] In 1998 India, under Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, test detonated 5 more nuclear weapons. [3] Most recently North Korea conducted nuclear weapons tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013. [4] The location of these nuclear weapons tests is shown on this world map by cartographer Bill Rankin. [4] The data on nuclear weapons tests come from the Oklohoma Geological Survey and can be considered an accurate count of nuclear weapons tests. [4] The reasons countries don’t get nuclear weapons turn out to be the mirror-images of why they do. [6] There aren’t really nuclear concerns outside that arc-of-crisis and that tells you something about how you have to convince other countries not to get nuclear weapons. [6] Most of the world is already at global zero–one hundred and eighty three countries in the world don’t have nuclear weapons and don’t think that the other countries should have them either. [6] Both sides were unaware of the details of the capacity of the enemy’s arsenal of nuclear weapons. [3] There is a growing bipartisan consensus that we have to reduce our nuclear weapons arsenals and move in the direction of eliminating nuclear weapons. [6] We have major areas of unresolved conflict that are still giving rise to proliferation imperatives–in order to protect myself from attack I need to have a nuclear weapon. [6] The total number of nuclear weapons in the world peaked in 1986. [4] No; nuclear weapons were a technological breakthrough, but they are weapons to be used like any other weapons. [5] Starting in the 1950s, medium-range ballistic missiles and intermediate-range ballistic missiles (“IRBM”s) were developed for delivery of tactical nuclear weapons, and the technology developed to the progressively longer ranges, eventually becoming intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). [3]

The fear in the cold war was so great that President Truman over-ruled his advisors and built the hydrogen bomb. [6] Strategic bombers were the primary delivery method at the beginning of the Cold War. [3]

In retrospect, the Cold War was a great ordering principle for the nuclear age and the end of that conflict has thrown the role of these armaments into doubt. [15] Despite the diminished postCold War role of nuclear weapons in the United States, the cumulative deterioration of Russia’s conventional military force since 1991 has actually made nuclear weapons more central to that government’s defense policy. [10] Over the years, there has been strong support from historians and military experts for the proposition that nuclear weapons played a key role in ending World War II, with each side avoiding a very costly invasion of the Japanese mainland. (The use of this historical example is a bit off the mark, in any case, because this was an example of compellence, not deterrence.) [32] To those mainly concerned about the devastating consequences of any European war-mainly the Europeans themselves-theater nuclear weapons offered the prospect of coupling: making escalation from the use of conventional forces to the engagement of strategic forces by the superpowers sufficiently credible that Soviet leadership would be deterred from actions that might lead to conventional war. [14]

In 1999 the Senate refused to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; the United States and Russia ended the 1972 ABM Treaty and agreed to jettison the START process, which kept nuclear deployments at Cold War levels in favor of much deeper reductions in offensive forces in 2002. [10] The nuclear postures of the former Cold War rivals have evolved more slowly than the fast-breaking political developments of the decade or so that has elapsed since the former Soviet Union collapsed. [10] The event attracted over 100 participants from the Vienna-based community and focused on the United States? nuclear policy and posture since the end of the Cold War to the current Administration. [11]

The spread of these weapons to other nation-states, dubbed nuclear proliferation, was a great concern during the Cold War. [19]

All this discussion has produced only one plausible scenario for the use of nuclear weapons in war: a situation where there is no prospect of retaliation, either against a nonnuclear state or against one so weakly armed as to permit the user to have full confidence in his nuclear forces’ capacity to achieve a totally disarming first strike. [14] U.S. military leaders came back from the 1991 Persian Gulf War saying that the United States could not have acted as it did if Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had possessed nuclear weapons. [32] In Iraq, Saddam Hussein dismantled his rudimentary nuclear weapons programme after the first Gulf war in 1991, and Libya?s Muammar Gaddafi handed over his nuclear weapons beginner?s set to the U.S. in 2003. [12] This concept envisions a limited use of tactical nuclear weapons in a conventional war, presumably one that is going very badly for Russia. [32] The unlimited destructiveness of nuclear weapons and the increasingly devastating power of conventional weapons call into question the utility of war as a policy instrument. [14]

Since the number of U.S. and Soviet/Russian nuclear weapons reached a maximum of more than 70,000 in about 1986, the year of the summit in Reykjavik between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, their numbers have come down by about 85 percent, and U.S. policies have steadily reduced the role of nuclear weapons, while maintaining the fundamental theories of deterrence and of extended deterrence covering allies. [32] This situation has led to doubts and uncertainties about the roles and missions of nuclear weapons and their value against 21st century security threats, including allies? uncertainties about U.S. assurances as they relate to emerging nuclear-armed neighboring states. [33] NPT review conferences would almost certainly become even more contentious, with agreed final documents almost impossible to attain. 25 In the states opposed to the ban treaty, there would probably be some progress in reducing the numbers and roles of nuclear weapons in response to pressure from the non-nuclear-weapon states. [32] The NPR Report issued by the Obama administration in April 2010 cited five key objectives: prevent nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism, reduce the role of nuclear weapons, maintain strategic deterrence at reduced nuclear force levels, strengthen regional deterrence, and sustain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal. [32]

Having hastily demobilized its armed forces at the end of the Second World War, the United States by 1947 began to rely heavily on nuclear weapons to counter the perceived threat to western Europe from the large Soviet army that had not been demobilized. [14] Even such circumstances have not, in fact, provided a sufficient basis for the use of nuclear weapons in war. [14] The most striking fact about nuclear weapons is that since their development and the demonstration of their feasibility in July 1945, only two have ever been used in war. [14] The Korean and Vietnam wars were major conflicts that were not prevented by nuclear weapons. [32]

In viewing the current security landscape as more complex, unpredictable and negative, the new NPR emphasizes the role of nuclear weapons to protect U.S. allies and dissuade potential adversaries. [11] Despite diverse views about the role of U.S. nuclear weapons and their importance to U.S. security, workshop attendees found they held common, though not necessarily unanimous, views on how the next administration could assemble a package of initiatives that, if taken together, could attract broad support. [33]

The global rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union shaped the role of nuclear weapons in international politics for four decades. [15] New security challenges and improved conventional weapons mean new roles and requirements for nuclear weapons. [10] Although the unique effects of nuclear weapons have a role in this policy under a narrow range of circumstances, the decisive enabler is a highly effective C4ISR system. [10]

Another view agrees that nuclear deterrence played an important role during the Cold War but is now an unnecessary and dangerous policy. [32] The conclusion of the Cold War led to a series of policy initiatives known as the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives intended to reduce the U.S. and Soviet Union (later Russian) nuclear arsenals. [11] During the Cold War, the purpose of the United States nuclear arsenal was to deter nuclear threats to the United States, primarily from the Soviet Union. [33]

At the height of the Cold War, the threat of U.S. tactical nuclear use was conceived of as a critical bulwark against a conventional Soviet offensive through the Fulda Gap, a strategically significant lowland corridor in Germany that would allow Warsaw Pact forces to enter Western Europe. [18] The first half of the Cold War was marked by a nuclear arms race between the superpowers. [19]

Although nuclear weapons have not been used since the end of World War II, their influence on international security affairs is pervasive, and possession of WMD remains an important divide in international politics today. [10] A widely held view in this group is that nuclear weapons had little or nothing to do with ending World War II and deserve little or no credit for what is sometimes called the “Long Peace” since 1945. [32]

There is general agreement that any use of nuclear weapons would be extremely dangerous and that an all-out nuclear war could end civilization. [32]

All this has profound implications for the future role of nuclear weapons. [10] North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) states such as Germany may host U.S. nuclear weapons but are non-nuclear-weapon states under the NPT. Although most are strong advocates of arms control and support the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons, they accept and depend on nuclear deterrence and therefore reject a ban treaty. [32] Turning to the disposition of strategic nuclear weapons, we must recognize the particular interpretation of deterrence embodied in the structure and targeting doctrine of U.S. strategic forces. [14] The cumulative effect of advances in non-nuclear weapons (especially precision strike capability and information-intensive conventional military operations) dramatically expanded the ability of non-nuclear weapons to hold adversary strategic targets at risk throughout the threat cycle, thus diminishing the need to use nuclear weapons for this purpose. [10] Nuclear deterrence has generally been considered fundamental to the prevention not only of such a nuclear disaster, but also of general conventional war among the major powers, at least on the scale of the two world wars, along with the use of other weapons of mass destruction, namely chemical and biological weapons, by these powers. [32] Although American forces were in desperate straits twice during the Korean War-first immediately following the North Korean attack in 1950 and then when the Chinese crossed the Yalu-the United States did not use nuclear weapons. [14] In the changed world, however, the weight of international opinion, both official and public, against any use of nuclear weapons will be stronger than it has been, and the inhibitions on the use of nuclear weapons against states without nuclear arms will be stronger still. [14] These states tend to be strong advocates of arms control and the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. [32] So far there have only been four rogue nuclear weapons states who ignored the NPT and made their own bombs. [12] The bargain at the heart of the NPT was that member states without nuclear weapons agreed not to acquire them, as long as the states with weapons reduced their obscenely large arsenals, capable of destroying the planet many times over. [12] The refocusing of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and programs from the relatively narrow notion of deterrence to the broader aspiration of dissuasion has a better chance of working than the failed techniques of 20th-century nonproliferation policy: international norms, exhortation, and economic sanctions. [10] Within the U.S. military, discussion favored the use of low-yield nuclear weapons for that purpose. [14] The concept of demonstrative use, in which a nuclear weapon would be used to intimidate rather destroy an enemy, that had characterized the early years of the nuclear program (19451953) was replaced with concepts that explicitly coupled nuclear weapons to military as well as political purposes. [10] Although no responsible political or military figure ever came up with a truly convincing explanation of how nuclear weapons might be used in Europe without unacceptable risks of catastrophic escalation, the possibility of their use could not be totally discounted. [14]

When the break between the two occurred (partly because of the Soviet refusal in 1959 to continue helping Beijing develop nuclear weapons) the Chinese pressed forward, as anxious about the potential nuclear threat from their neighboring former ally as they had initially been about the threat from the distant United States. [14] Today, in the post-9/11 world, the most urgent nuclear weapon threats to the United States are not from another major power?s deliberate use of them, but instead are from non-state terrorist actors or from the regional proliferation of such weapons into unreliable hands. [33] They are already efficacious enough to serve the residual function of minimum deterrence of the use of nuclear weapons by any state against the United States or its allies, which is all that we can ask or expect of them. [14] Although President Truman’s hasty response to a reporter’s question at a press conference in November 1950 appeared to suggest that he was considering the use of nuclear weapons, political leaders recoiled from the perceived political costs.1 Just the suggestion that the United States might use nuclear weapons provoked an immediate descent on Washington by British Prime Minister Attlee, and a presidential assurance that no such action was contemplated. [14] Although strict control by the president over nuclear release is still a critical requirement, the planning process for 21st-century security requires that nuclear weapons be more integrated with advanced conventional weapons and forces. [10] Another factor is that precisely this growing conventional capability, which appears to favor the United States, is making the elimination of nuclear weapons more difficult, notably in the view of Russia. [32] The latest NPR was premised on the existence of an inherently adversarial relationship with Russia, an increased risk posed by North Korea and its advanced nuclear weapons programme, concerns about Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon despite the constraints posed on its nuclear programme by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the continuing threat of nuclear terrorism and apprehensions about U.S. relations with China. [11] Any decision that the United States makes with respect to its own nuclear stockpile and infrastructure must also address how these decisions (and perceptions of those decisions) may affect U.S. efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation and pursue lower global inventories of nuclear weapons. [33] The United States and other countries with nuclear weapons regard nuclear deterrence as a key factor in the prevention of major warfare among the leading powers. [32] There are four states outside the NPT that hold views on the deterrent value of nuclear weapons generally similar to the big five powers. [32] All states that acknowledge possessing nuclear weapons, even North Korea, say that their purpose is for deterrence. [32] Two states do face near or medium-term threats to their existence for which they might judge nuclear weapons credible deterrents or responses: Pakistan and Israel. [14] Those states that have refused to sign the Nonproliferation Treaty have always justified their refusal by the asymmetry of obligation between the recognized nuclear weapons states and all others. [14] If a state with nuclear weapons joined such a treaty, it would face a complicated situation regarding what it would be required to do with its now illegal objects and exactly what activities with respect to them would be legal and illegal. [32] The long-standing promise to eliminate nuclear weapons might be sufficient to drive a slow and careful process, separate from a ban treaty that includes states with nuclear weapons, toward zero. [32] In the case of nuclear weapons, not a single weapon can be eliminated without the cooperation of the states that possess and control them. [32] In language probably drawn from the International Court of Justice advisory opinion, it says that the Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies or in response to aggression using conventional weapons that “threatens the very existence of the state.” [32] Although not yet reflected in official documents, recent comments by Russian officials have hinted that they now view the use of tactical nuclear weapons as possibly not as remote as previously stated. [32]

With these differences in beliefs and hopes about how nuclear weapons might be used, possible modifications in NATO force posture, whether as a result of Western initiative or in response to actions by the Soviet Union, inevitably have had divisive effects within the alliance. [14] Three successor countries to the Soviet Union – Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus – inherited nuclear weapons in 1991, and all three agreed to surrender them, in Ukraine?s case in return for sovereignty guarantees from Russia that ultimately proved worthless. [12] At present, the world stockpile of nuclear weapons comprises some 52,000 nuclear warheads, 97 percent of them in the hands of the United States and the Soviet Union. [14] France also invested in nuclear weapons for equally illusory political reasons, but with a difference: the French saw them as the symbol of independence, especially from the security umbrella of the United States, but also from the United Kingdom. [14] The last three NPRs have focused on the need for the United States to have flexible, adaptive and responsive nuclear weapons, especially in light of the uncertainty faced in today?s security environment. [11] In this respect, nuclear weapons are still vital to U.S. national security. [10] Another key matter of continuity among the various U.S. administrations is the view that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is not helpful in reducing nuclear dangers. [11] It is noteworthy, however, that most states have not sought to acquire nuclear weapons. [14] Further all or most will claim the necessity for keeping some weapons as a hedge against the uncertainties of the status of “threshold” states and the possibilities of “breakout”-open deployment of nuclear weapons by one or more of them. [14] Second is the influence of the size and growth of the weapons stockpiles of the nuclear weapons states on the acceptance by the others of their nonnuclear status. [14] If only non-nuclear-weapon states joined, they would presumably have no new legal obligations because they are already prohibited from acquiring nuclear weapons by the NPT. This could result in a curious legal situation. [32] In 1964 China exploded its first test weapon, becoming the fifth avowed nuclear weapons power. [14] Of the second-tier nuclear weapons powers, again according to FAS estimates, France has 300 warheads, China 270, the UK 215, Pakistan 130-40, India 120-30, Israel 80, and North Korea between 10 and 20. [12] The development of nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them accurately at intercontinental ranges opened a wide and increasing gap between what was technically feasible in the application of military power and what was politically usable. [14] The character of the military competition between the two superpowers was shaped by the existence of strategic nuclear weapons. [14] The use of a nuclear weapon against a naval vessel in the Pacific or against a few missile silos in North Dakota or Siberia would not lead to a catastrophic change in the earth?s climate or mass starvation. [32] Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, I.C.J. Reports, July 8, 1996, [32] It is hard to imagine any more serious threats for France, Germany or the other countries of western Europe than that posed last year by Saddam Hussein, to which nuclear weapons were incredible as a deterrent and therefore irrelevant. [14] While nuclear weapons may not be as useful for “war-fighting,” given the development of “smart” technologies for delivery of conventional ordnance, nor as credible as deterrents as they were believed to be some years ago, it is implausible that Israel will not insist on retaining them as weapons of last resort, absent a resolution of its fundamental security problem. [14] As McGeorge Bundy, national security adviser to Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, put it years ago, one nuclear weapon on one city would be a catastrophe; 10 nuclear weapons on 10 cities would be a disaster beyond history. [32] Nuclear weapons in the thousands were needed to meet the security requirements that evolved from the defense policy developed by President Eisenhower in the early part of 1953. [10]

In the 1990s, the United States selected eight (from the 32 in the inventory at the time) nuclear weapon types (with one additional type in reserve)two for each of the four primary delivery systems, to be preserved in perpetuity. [10] If the United States is prepared to do all this, why should it not lead or at least join others in a move for the abolition of all nuclear weapons? One of the standard arguments against this has been that notwithstanding undertakings to get rid of nuclear weapons, others might retain a few. [14] Claims that “any” use of nuclear weapons or use of a tiny percentage of the world?s arsenal in any scenario would inevitably lead to these same conclusions are clearly not justified by the science. [32] The birth of the concept of initiating nuclear action with the use of tactical or theater nuclear weapons. [14] The circumstances in which any use of nuclear weapons might have to be contemplated are extremely remote?. [32] Some view the use of nuclear weapons through accident or design as almost inevitable and consider the possession of such weapons morally wrong. [32] Five of these (the U.S., Russia, the UK, France and China) are members of the official owners club, who made their weapons early and had them legitimised in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signed in 1968, the key piece of international law governing nuclear weapons possession. [12] Pope Francis, in a message to the 2014 Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, declared, “Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis of an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states.” [32] With the end of the threat of a devastating Warsaw Pact attack against western Europe, the rationale for NATO’s theater nuclear weapons has disappeared. [14] Nuclear weapon designs that provide an ability to attack a wide variety of targets, including biological weapons, heavily fortified and deeply buried targets, and other missions, are more appropriate than the present stockpile, which is designed primarily to attack targets across a wide area or hardened military targets on or near the surface. [10] Included in this category are advanced European countries with strong histories of support for arms control but no direct relationship to nuclear weapons, for example Austria, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland. [32] While acknowledging the major contributions of past nuclear arms control treaties, it is important to recognize that none of them actually required any reduction in the number of nuclear weapons, contrary to popular belief. [32]

The capabilities of conventional weapons and drones would be steadily increased, partly in order to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons. [32] The integration of a modern global C4ISR system, advanced conventional weapons, and a modernized nuclear weapons development and manufacturing complex is a costly, prolonged, and complex affair; characteristics that are often difficult for democratic regimes to sustain. [10] Integration of nuclear weapons planning into conventional operations. [10] More countries have given up nuclear weapons programmes than have kept them, coming to believe they were more of a liability than an asset for national security. [12] The security environment at the time suggested an increased risk of a nuclear weapon detonation by nuclear terrorists or a group outside of the nuclear pathway. [11] The ban movement has understood that, in order to eliminate nuclear weapons, it is first necessary to eliminate nuclear deterrence. [32]

Russia and China were the principal objects of American nuclear deterrence during the Cold War. [15] With the end of the Cold War, it is hard to construct even a semi-plausible military threat to the United States or to Europe west of the Soviet border in the immediate future. [14] That has indeed happened, to an extent – at first as the result of arms control agreements, and then the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the end of the cold war. [12] The first NPR was conducted by the Pentagon, for the Pentagon, as a bottom-up review of U.S. defense policy after the Cold War. [11] Nearly three decades after the cold war, the U.S. and Russia still keep hundreds of missiles on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch within minutes, in anticipation of just an occasion. [12] With the Cold War over, it suggests that U.S. strategic thinking remains chained to obsolete doctrines: that as a nation we are incapable of reacting intelligently to changes in the world scene. [14] The end of the Cold War clearly does not in itself mean the end of international conflict, but it need not mean a return to an earlier style of international relations based on the balance of power and shifting alliances, with its ultimate reliance on national military forces. [14] The development of the atomic bomb and the subsequent arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union ushered in a new conflict: the Cold War. [34] In 1991, the Cold War adversary of the United States embarked on three revolutionary transformations: from an empire to a nation-state; from a centrally. [15] This was a significant factor in keeping the Cold War alive, and has been excessively dangerous-a point driven home particularly in the last several years as we have come to understand better the extent of misperception and miscalculation that characterized various Soviet-American confrontations, particularly the Cuban missile crisis. [14]

Widespread deployment of nuclear weapons in theater, such as nuclear artillery, mines and surface-to-surface missiles, would ensure escalation if war began, thus deterring any Soviet use of conventional military superiority in Europe, while avoiding the cost of matching that Soviet force. [21] While chemical weapons have been frequently used in war, no country has detonated a nuclear bomb since the end of World War II. [22]

In 2002, during the administration of President George W. Bush, the classified Nuclear Posture Review emphasized the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in deterring nonnuclear threats, including weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and large conventional military forces, ostensibly through nuclear first use. [18] It ultimately left U.S. nuclear declaratory policy unchanged from its 2010 iteration, which stated that the United States reserved the right to use nuclear weapons to deter nonnuclear attacks while strengthening conventional capabilities to gradually reduce the role of nuclear weapons to that of solely deterring nuclear attacks. [18] It additionally emphasized that the “fundamental” role of U.S. nuclear weapons was to deter nuclear use against the United States and its allies. [18]

In the assessment of some, a coherent narrative about the fundamental role of U.S. nuclear weapons has not been sufficiently stated and promulgated across the force. [35] The change in security threats and the nature of conflict reduces the role of nuclear weapons in the U.S. national-security posture. [21]

Nevertheless the major incentive for Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program has been the threat from India and India’s nuclear program. [14] Although the two nations are pursuing divergent doctrines for their residual nuclear weapons posture, neither approach poses a threat to the other. [10] Perhaps the most basic is the fundamental immorality of relying on the threat of death and destruction to civilians and the urban fabric of civilization on the scale that even a few tens of modern nuclear weapons would produce. [14] The nature of the targets and the scope of the potential threat also alter the character of the underlying scientific, engineering, and industrial infrastructure that supports the nuclear weapons posture. [10] Uranium and plutonium are used for nuclear weapons, but only specific atomic configurations, or isotopes, of those elements are fissile. [12] This includes tactical nuclear weapons deployed on naval ships and nuclear bombs designed for antisubmarine warfare. [14] The issue at hand is whether, by holding nuclear weapons as an instrument of deterrence, one risks destroying the planet in order to save it. [32] They principally involve reaching agreements on definitions, verification, elimination procedures, and timelines; how much latent capability to re-create nuclear weapons to allow and to whom; and a new system of deterrence that does not rely on nuclear weapons. [32] Clearly, the acquisition of nuclear weapons by North Korea has reduced the military options available for dealing with that country. [32] China began its quest for nuclear weapons as early as 1955 as an ally and client of the Soviet Union. [14] It is important to note the United States? continued support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, as well as its commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to Article VI on disarmament. [11] Consummating a comprehensive test-ban treaty could have some direct effect on nuclear weapons proliferation. [14] This will be the result of a nuclear weapons ban treaty, which is due to be negotiated beginning this month as authorized by the UN General Assembly on December 23, 2016, by a vote of 113-35, with 13 abstaining. [32] The purpose of this treaty will be to prohibit but not eliminate nuclear weapons. [32] Such a treaty would presumably be a rather short document making nuclear weapons illegal. 13 The actual elimination of these weapons would await a later, much more complicated agreement containing agreed elimination procedures and an effective verification regime. [32] Those espousing this view generally recognize the legal and moral obligation to eliminate nuclear weapons, but reject the concept of immediately negotiating a ban treaty. [32] The availability of funds to continually upgrade the nuclear weapons stockpile and the opportunity to test the weapons themselves contributed to high confidence in the safety and reliability of the deployed weapon systems. [10] The unique capabilities of nuclear weapons may still be required in some circumstances, but the range of alternatives to them is much greater today. [10] The current stockpile is based on nuclear weapon designs that have stayed in the inventory well beyond their anticipated life (the average age of the weapons in the stockpile is approximately 20 years). [10] In the years between 1945 and 1955, Einstein was at his most active politically, frequently speaking and writing about his desire for peace through international cooperation and elimination of all nuclear weapons. [34] Many countries, perhaps the majority, are simply too poor in both technical and economic resources to contemplate acquiring nuclear weapons. [14] There are several reasons why it is desirable to reduce the number of nuclear weapons even further. [14] An added measure of confidence was created by the retention of large numbers of obsolescent or nondeployed weapons in the inventory, which served as a hedge against unanticipated problems in the ability of the manufacturing complex to deliver nuclear weapon components or to complete systems when required. [10] Libya’s decision has exposed a vast secret infrastructure of nuclear weapons technology and critical components involving, directly or indirectly, more than a dozen nations. [10] In the future, nuclear weapons should be designed as much as possible to be independent of the platform used to deliver them. [10] Sooner or later, if nuclear weapons are retained indefinitely, they will be used, or serious accidents will occur. [32]

It took two decades for the United States and Soviet Union to understand that nuclear weapons alone were not a credible deterrent to conventional war. [21] In 2017, Representative Ted W. Lieu of California and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats, introduced bills to restrict the first use of nuclear weapons by the president without a congressional declaration of war, but some experts say this would not have meaningful effect on Trump?s ability to use nuclear weapons first. [18] As that story explained, the end of the war followed implications from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who took office in 1953, that nuclear weapons were on the table as a way to bring the conflict to an end. [36] Both sides undertook “war games,” detailed theoretical exchanges of long-range (strategic) nuclear weapons. [21] Even though the war did end that year, the idea that nuclear weapons might be necessary made its mark on North Korea. [36] The corollary is that nuclear weapons are not–and never should be–credible instruments of war. [21] It had an explosive yield of 50 megatons: 1,400 times more powerful than the ‘Fat Man’ device that devastated Hiroshima and ten times the strength of all explosives fired by all countries during World War II. In the mid-1970s, the total megatonnage of Soviet nuclear weapons exceeded that of the U.S., however, the Americans had double the number of individual nuclear devices. [19]

In spite of the many threats made over the course of the Cold War, atomic weapons were not used in any conflict after the Second World War. [37] France?s posture emerged from its Cold War-era fears of abandonment by the United States, which led to the country?s withdrawal from NATO in 1966 to pursue an independent nuclear capability, giving France the sovereign ability to determine how and when it would use its nuclear weapons. [18] The Obama administration still maintained the option to use nuclear weapons first while stating that the role of these weapons to deter and respond to nonnuclear attacks had declined and that it would continue to reduce that role. [18] Today, eight states acknowledge that nuclear weapons play a role in their national defense policies. [18] These countries have both the technological and economic resources to develop nuclear weapons and are likely to play pivotal roles in major geopolitical events within the next decade. [22]

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to participate in a number of war games in which the roles and uses of nuclear weapons had to be faced in scenarios that imagined military conflicts developing between the U.S. and other potential adversaries. [27] My approach here will be to: (1) examine what might be the appropriate roles for nuclear weapons for the future, (2) propose some new approaches to developing nuclear strategies and policies that are more appropriate for the post-Cold War world, and (3) consider the kinds of military systems and nuclear weapons that would be needed to match those policies. [27] “There was no clear strategy worked out ahead of time for what the role of nuclear weapons in the limited war would be. [38]

Because no one had much experience with this new class of weapon or warfare, strategic planning for the war in Korea was more than a heated battlegroundit was nuclear kindergarten. [38]

The International Institute for Strategic Studies report, entitled “Once and Future Partners: The United States, Russia and Nuclear Non-Proliferation,” uses newly declassified intelligence archives to shed light on the key personal exchanges between the Cold War foes that helped sustain the Non-Proliferation Treaty. [26] The report urges policymakers in both the United States and Russia to learn lessons from Cold War history as the world still faces grave nuclear threats. [26] The U.S. and Russia no longer appear to place nuclear arms limitations at the top of their priority lists, more than likely because of an increasingly shared view that war between the two is far less likely than during the Cold War Era. [27] I believe that our policy in these cases should emulate our Cold War policies; that is, it should focus first on deterrence of conflict, escalation control, and war prevention; and contemplate nuclear attacks only if deterrence should fail in these aims. [27]

With the end of the Cold War, classical deterrence is no longer valid. [15] With the end of the Cold War, neither country is any longer the object of classical deterrence, let alone compellance. [15] Peaceful coexistence at all costs: Cold War exchanges between Britain and the Soviet Union in 1956. [16] Known as the Cold War, this conflict began as a struggle for control over the conquered areas of Eastern Europe in the late 1940s and continued into the early 1990s. [34]

The millions of pages of classified and declassified documents on U.S. nuclear policy during and after the Cold War are beyond the comprehension of any one individual, even any U.S. government organization. [30] During the Cold War, we had always assumed that, in any strategic nuclear conflict with Russia, the satellite constellations would probably be severely damaged. [27] Amidst the generally deteriorating outlook regarding the prospects of nuclear proliferation over the duration of the Cold War, the arms control and disarmament discourse also grew increasingly somber over time. [28] The good news is that the Cold War fears of nuclear and population bombs, hyped by misanthropic Malthusians, turned out to be unfounded. [39] With the end of the Cold War in 1991, there was considerable confusion as to what our nations nuclear posture should be. [27] This study offers a brief survey of attempts by intelligence communities and independent experts to predict the future of nuclear landscape since the beginning of the Cold War. [28] With the end of the Cold War, the outlook on the nuclear future shifted dramatically. [28] Especially after the revelation of a global nuclear black market in 2003, anxieties increased on this count, with most quarters now arguing that terrorists were now willing to employ nuclear devices, this being a major departure from the Cold War era. [28]

Throughout the Cold War, the doctrine of mutually assured destruction required a sufficiently large force that would allow for a massive retaliation even if a first strike eliminated a large portion of a country’s nuclear arsenal. [22] The threat of nuclear war between America and the Soviet Union was a constant source of fear and paranoia during the Cold War. [19] Cold War tensions and paranoia were underpinned by the fear of nuclear war. [19]

Today, U.S. allies in East Asia and Europe alike rely on credible commitments from the United States to use nuclear weapons first to deter major nonnuclear threats against them. [18] A so-called NFU pledge, first publicly made by China in 1964, refers to any authoritative statement by a nuclear weapon state to never be the first to use these weapons in a conflict, reserving them strictly to retaliate in the aftermath of a nuclear attack against its territory or military personnel. [18] Kevin Lamarque/Reuters Nearly all nuclear weapon states, as a matter of policy, remain ready to use their weapons without having first suffered a nuclear attack. [18]

In 1993, Russia released a military doctrine that formally abandoned a 1982 pledge by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev not to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict. [18] Today, Russian?s military doctrine says the country will use nuclear weapons against attacks by conventional forces that represent an existential threat to the country or in retaliation for a nuclear or WMD attack. [18] If the country were to detect an imminent U.S. or allied attack, it would use nuclear weapons on military installations in East Asia and in Guam. [18]

Other proponents pointed to an NFU policy declaration being a necessary step on the road to global nuclear disarmament, an aspirational goal of the Obama administration and a requirement for all recognized nuclear weapon states under Article VI of the NPT. Proponents also argue that U.S. resistance to an NFU declaration has harmed U.S. nonproliferation efforts. [18] States with such pledges would be technically able to still use nuclear weapons first in a conflict, and their adversaries have generally not trusted NFU assurances. [18] Most states with nuclear weapons maintain policies that would permit their first use in a conflict. [18]

Under guidance provided by the Nuclear Weapons Council, Los Alamos plans to deliver the first LEP B61 to the U.S. Air Force in 2019. [13] The first nuclear weapons were developed, tested and used by the U.S. in 1945. [19] The 1993 military doctrine said that the country?s nuclear weapons would never be used against nonnuclear states that were members of the NPT, except those that were allied with a nuclear state. [18] When a country does not currently have nuclear weapons but has a peaceful nuclear program that could be used to produce nuclear weapons, it is said to be in a state of “nuclear latency.” [22] Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its possession of nuclear weapons but is thought to have developed a limited arsenal more than fifty years ago, effectively becoming the world?s sixth nuclear weapon state. [18] In 1978 and 1995, the UK reiterated a commitment to not use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states in the NPT. [18] The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, under the administration of President Barack Obama, reiterated an assurance in place since 1978 that the United States would not use nuclear weapons against compliant members of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). [18] The Trump administration?s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review expands the range of significant nonnuclear strategic scenarios in which the United States may contemplate nuclear weapons use. [18]

For decades, China sought to make its NFU pledge appear credible by separating its ballistic missile and warhead units; under these circumstances, China?s intention to use nuclear weapons before first suffering a nuclear attack would ostensibly be easily detectable. [18] In 2017, for the first time in forty-one years, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the president?s ability to use nuclear weapons. [18] In 1965, historian Gar Alperovitz published a book which argued that the use of nuclear weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was intended to gain a stronger position for postwar diplomatic bargaining with the Soviet Union, as the weapons themselves were not needed to force the Japanese surrender. [37] While presiding over the U.S. development of nuclear weapons, President Franklin Roosevelt made the decision not to inform the Soviet Union of the technological developments. [37] Though the U.S. is not directly threatened by North Korea’s nuclear weapons (based on the current understanding of its ballistic missile technology), the safety of its allies would be jeopardized by a North Korean bomb. [22] Japan’s alliance with the United States has thus far deterred it from developing nuclear weapons because it knows it can rely on the U.S. for defense. [22] The United States was the first nation to construct and test nuclear weapons. [19] The United States and the Soviet Union were not the only countries to develop and manufacture nuclear weapons. [19] The following graphics outline which countries possess or have possessed nuclear weapons, as well as some states capable of producing them. [22] China has publicly called on nuclear weapon states to create and join a multilateral NFU treaty– what it has called a Treaty on Mutual No-First-Use of Nuclear Weapons. [18] Today, China is the only nuclear weapon state to maintain an unconditional NFU pledge. [18] Another state, Israel, has not publicly acknowledged that it possesses nuclear weapons but is widely considered a nuclear state. [18] Views differ about how best to address two realities: nuclear weapons are only usable by irrational or desperate state and sub-state actors, but their existence cannot be wished away. [21] A military aide carries the “football” containing launch codes for U.S. nuclear weapons. [18] Instead of increasing their stores of nuclear weapons, U.S. military planners focused on new and more efficient ways of delivering them. [19] The U.S. and USSR invested heavily in their nuclear weapons programs, in part because neither superpower had an accurate idea of the nuclear arsenal of the other. [19]

Some remaining sites are involved in maintaining the current nuclear arsenal and could play roles producing new weapons. [20] Ukraine was left with 1,900 strategic warheads and between 2,650 and 4,200 nonstrategic nuclear weapons, making it the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. [22] UK. The country maintains an ambiguous nuclear posture that does “not rule in or out the first use of nuclear weapons,” according to the UK Ministry of Defense?s 2010-2015 policy paper on the country?s nuclear deterrent. [18] The United States has considered but has never declared an NFU policy and remains the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons in war–twice against Japan, in 1945. [18] In 1992, the United States conducted its last full-scale, underground nuclear weapons test. [13] Managing and operating the nation?s nuclear weapons, forces, and delivery systems is an enormous responsibility and among the most demanding of military missions. [35] Within six years Soviet nuclear physicists had test-fired several nuclear weapons, each more elaborate and powerful than their predecessors. [19] The Soviets, in contrast, increased nuclear weapons production through the late 1960s and 1970s. [19] In August 1949, the Russians detonated their first prototype nuclear weapon. [19] Notably, it does not rule out the first use of nuclear weapons in response to cyberattacks. [18] Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain a vivid reminder of the extraordinary destructive power of nuclear weapons and the certainty that the world would never be the same after any nuclear weapons use. [21] In line with this policy of nuclear opacity, Israel has made no authoritative declarations on how it would use nuclear weapons. [18] There is widespread agreement among public officials, military leaders and knowledgeable outside experts that the ultimate goal that must guide all policy efforts is to avoid the explosion in anger of even a single nuclear weapon. [21] Critics argue that such a declaration could undercut allied commitments and encourage U.S. allies to develop their own nuclear weapons. [18] The U.S. detonated two nuclear weapons over Japan in August 1945. [19] As U.S. leaders consider producing new nuclear weapons, I believe they should study lessons from Hanford carefully. [20] Congress further directed that the directors of the nuclear weapons laboratories (Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia) annually report on the state and health of the stockpile to the President of the United States, through the Secretaries of Energy and Defense. [13] After India tested a nuclear bomb in 1974, President Carter drew the world?s attention to the danger of the spread of nuclear weapons. [21] In the late 1960s, Prime Minister Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon came to an understanding, with Meir offering assurances that Israel would “not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East” but that it would also “not be the second to introduce this weapon.” [18] Because neither could make the first strike without the threat of a counterstrike, the benefits of using nuclear weapons in a conflict–even in a proxy war–were greatly diminished. [37] This allowed the USSR to test its first nuclear weapon in 1949. [19] Introducing nuclear weapons into these calculations, however, forces the aggressor to proceed with caution because the risk of massive retaliation is great. [22] In 1989, the United States halted the design and manufacture of new nuclear weapons. [13] Deployed nuclear weapons are already attached to a delivery system and ready to use. [22] How best to protect civilization from the use of nuclear weapons? The idealistic view is to work diligently for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. [21] North Korea’s deterrent capability would be eliminated the moment it uses a nuclear weapon, which would be akin to committing certain suicide. [22] Nuclear weapons fundamentally alter the relations between countries because each country is forced to think more pointedly about its adversaries’ security imperatives. [22] Several countries had nuclear weapons or weapons programs that were subsequently abandoned. [22] In the West, civil defence programs prepared civilians for a potential nuclear attack, while nuclear weapons permeated popular culture. [19] It is not inconceivable that Germany would consider developing nuclear weapons to deter Russian aggression if it questioned America’s commitment. [22] The acquisition of nuclear weapons by both superpowers led to a strategic doctrine called ‘mutually-assured destruction’. [19] If Iran were to continue enriching uranium in secret and develop a nuclear weapon despite the JCPOA, it would alter the balance of power in the region. [22] A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its power from nuclear reactions called fission or fusion. [19] During the 1950s, the threat of nuclear weapons was enhanced by new delivery systems. [19] Nine countries currently have nuclear weapons with an assortment of delivery systems. [22] Of the 31 countries that possess nuclear power plants, we have identified five important countries for which the acquisition of nuclear weapons would radically impact relations with both their regional neighbors and global powers. [22] Efforts to encourage countries to give up their nuclear weapons and/or their nuclear aspirations have been somewhat successful. [21] Belarus was left in possession of 81 warheads and an assortment of nonstrategic nuclear weapons. [22] Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine all inherited nuclear weapons when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. [22] Indian public statements on nuclear weapons continue to emphasize the NFU policy, without acknowledging the exceptions carved out explicitly in the official doctrine. [18] This is a difficult balance to strike when the addition of nuclear weapons by one party is itself the act that breaches the security imperatives of the other. [22] Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility : The DARHT Facility allows scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to study the three-dimensional implosion of mock nuclear weapons primaries. [13]

Of the 50 million people who died in World War II, 99.5% were killed by conventional, not nuclear, weapons. [39] The intensity of the environment of any war game also demonstrates just how critical it is for the U.S. to have thought through in advance exactly what messages we would want to send to other nations (combatants and noncombatants) and to history, should there be any future use of nuclear weapons – including threatened use – in conflicts. [27] This is the enduring purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons in the post-Cold War world. [27] Rather we should rely on the catastrophic nature of nuclear weapons to achieve war prevention, to prevent a conflict from escalating (e.g., to the use of weapons of mass destruction), or to help achieve war termination when it cannot be achieved by other means, e.g., if the enemy has already escalated the conflict through the use of weapons of mass destruction. [27] It is still quite skeletal in nature, but it appears to have some advantageous characteristics that can provide a new approach on the way to creating a comprehensive, post-Cold War nuclear weapons policy. [27]

The report also calls for a modern nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile, which President George H.W. Bush stopped using and President Obama officially retired as part of the longtime strategy to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and lessen the role of the weapons in the U.S. defense policy. [40] The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact mandates fundamentally rethinking the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. military and foreign policy. [41] Since the founding of the National Security Archive, nuclear crises, nuclear proliferation, and the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. policy have been central to its FOIA requesting. [30] Against this backdrop, I recently began to worry that because there were few public statements by U.S. officials in reaffirming the unique role which nuclear weapons play in ensuring U.S. and world security, far too many people (including many in our own armed forces) were beginning to believe that perhaps nuclear weapons no longer had value. [27] The most important role for our nuclear weapons is to serve as a sobering force, one that can cap the level of destruction of military conflicts and thus force all sides to come to their senses. [27] The totality of those games brought new realizations as to the role and purpose of nuclear weapons, in particular, how essential it is that deterrence be tailored in a different way for each potential aggressor nation. [27] “This review rests on a bedrock truth: nuclear weapons have and will continue to play a critical role in deterring nuclear attack and in preventing large-scale conventional warfare,” he said [40] It is obvious that we must have policies that are well thought through in advance as to the role of nuclear weapons in deterring the use of, or retaliating for the use of, all weapons of mass destruction. [27]

Again, post-Cold War arguments were largely deterministic in assuming that developing countries would act less maturely with nuclear weapons under their belt, thus inevitably leading to regional, and in turn global, instability. [28] As nuclear weapons spread, the number of deaths from wars and conflicts declined 95%. [39] We also support the removal of nuclear weapons from hair-trigger alert, which further increases the risk of accidental war. [31] Recent efforts to predict the future of nuclear weapons and proliferation agree overwhelmingly that Asian proliferation – Asia has been the exclusive focus of the Nth country proliferation debate for the past decade – would eventually undermine the post-Cold War nuclear equilibrium. [28] Nuclear weapons must never be considered as war fighting tools. [27] By contrast, we have not used nuclear weapons in conflict since World War II. This is an important distinction for us to emphasize as an element of U.S. defense policy, and one not well understood by the public at large. [27]

The construction of that regime entailed a decade of U.N. talks in Geneva during the 1960s, culminating in the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, which remains the cornerstone of efforts to prevent the spread of atomic weapons and a testimony to Cold War cooperation. [26] The United States and Russia urgently need to revive Cold War-era cooperation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, according to a new report. [26]

To build a nuclear weapon, a country must have technical knowledge and capabilities, access to materials, and a well-developed industrial sector. [22] In the Middle East and North Africa, Iraq, Syria, and Libya all had active nuclear weapons programs. [22] America’s nuclear weapons program, the Manhattan Project, began in 1942 under the guidance of Dr Robert Oppenheimer. [19] Nuclear proliferation was also a concern, with several other nations developing nuclear weapons. [19] Intercontinental ballistic missiles, for example, could launch nuclear weapons thousands of miles. [19] As North Korea appears to move closer to possessing a deliverable nuclear warhead, the South Korean government has debated acquiring a nuclear weapon. [22]

In the early days of the Cold War, in the 1950s, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis Lemay advanced a doctrine of massive retaliation. [21] The size of these arsenals, however, pales in comparison to each country’s peak inventory during the Cold War: The U.S. had 31,255 in 1967, and the Soviet Union had 40,159 in 1986. [22] A 1988 agreement between Cuba, Angola, and the U.S. resulted in the withdrawal of 50,000 Cuban troops that had been stationed in Angola during the Cold War and supported by the Soviet Union. [22]

Life Extension Program (LEP) activities are extending the lifetime of warheads and bombs designed to meet Cold War requirements (high yield to weight) for an additional 20-30 years beyond their original expected lifetimes (1015 years). [13] In the first two decades of the Cold War, there were a number of occasions during which a form of atomic diplomacy was employed by either side of the conflict. [37] It coloured political rhetoric (in 1956 Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev famously told European ambassadors that “We will bury you!”) and Cold War propaganda. [19] As World War II phased into the Cold War and the U.S.-Soviet arms race escalated, new sites were added in Ohio, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Colorado and elsewhere. [20] While many fear the irrationality of North Korea’s leadership, Geopolitical Futures’ current understanding of the regime is that it has persisted for decades throughout the Cold War and after the fall of the Soviet Union because it is able to make cautious calculations and has continued to choose not to inflict destruction on itself. [22] How the Laboratory ensures the safety, security, and effectiveness of the stockpile has changed dramatically with the end of the Cold War. [13]

While the sudden appearance of a few tens of nuclear weapons causes only a small stir in a world where several thousands of such weapons already exist, their appearance in a world without nuclear weapons would produce huge effects. (The impact of the first two weapons in ending World War II should be a sufficient example.) [27] In developing nuclear deterrent policies for this new age, I want to share with you some thinking that can lead to a new framework for the role of nuclear weapons in defense. [27] We addressed how nuclear deterrence might be extended – not just to deter Russia – but how it might serve a continuing role in deterring wider acts of aggression from any corner of the world, including deterring the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. [27]

Although the U.S. has been careful not to suggest that such retaliations would inevitably mean we would use nuclear weapons, we have left open the possibility for aggressor states to conclude for themselves that perhaps we might indeed use such weapons. [27] If high effectiveness defenses can be achieved, they will enhance deterrence by eliminating an aggressor’s confidence in attacking the U.S. homeland with long-range missiles, and thus make our use of nuclear weapons more credible (if the conflict could not be terminated otherwise.) [27] Noting that the U.S. has always considered nuclear weapons as weapons of last resort, we need to give constant attention to improving conventional munitions in order to raise the threshold for which we would ever consider nuclear use. [27] Today, the U.S. and Russian strategic dialogue no longer focuses on the question of how many weapons are enough? But each has shifted to a more cautious stance in considering the flip side of the question, how few are enough? At the same time, tens of thousands of other nuclear weapons – the so-called nonstrategic devices intended for use in theater or tactical conflicts – remain outside of the START frameworks. [27] As was mentioned at the outset, the most difficult issue may be the question of whether or not the U.S. would attack a nation with nuclear arms, if that nation possessed biological or chemical weapons but did not possess nuclear arms at the time (nor was it allied to a nation who had nuclear weapons). [27]

One can imagine a continuum of nuclear weapons capabilities which at the high end could be used to deter Russia and at the low end could be adapted to deter other states. [27] Russia has already begun to emphasize the importance of its arsenal of nuclear weapons to compensate for its limited conventional capabilities to deal with hostilities that appear to be increasing along its borders. [27] In contrast to the situation facing Russia, I believe we cannot place an over-reliance on nuclear weapons, but that we must maintain adequate conventional capabilities to manage regional conflicts in any part of the world. [27]

If any attack against the U.S., its allies, or its forces should be undertaken with nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, there should be no doubt in the attacker’s mind that the United States might retaliate for such an attack with nuclear weapons; but the choice would be in our hands. [27] A direct response might well be Any nation or (targetable) sub-national entity which, if not otherwise deterred, might be tempted to employ nuclear weapons (or other weapons of mass destruction) against the United States, our forces, or our allies. [27] To make its threat convincing, the United States during the 1950s developed and deployed several types of delivery systems for attacking the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons. [29] The principal objective of U.S. nuclear weapons shifted from deterring the Soviet Union to new, uncertain threats emanating from the developing world. [28] There were many schools of thought as to what should happen with the large arsenal of nuclear weapons built up by both the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. [27] During the next few years, the rest of the U.S. government was, for the most part, silent regarding nuclear weapons policy and doctrine. [27] This study begins with a discussion of U.S. foreign policy objectives and how nuclear weapons are likely to fit in. [41] Special appreciation goes to the Prospect Hill Foundation for the funding that has kept up the pressure on the U.S. government to declassify the record of nuclear weapons policy, however embarrassing it may be. [30] The report calls for the U.S. to develop two new additional nuclear weapons to keep other world powers at bay. [40] In August 1977, Soviet spy satellites detected preparations for a nuclear weapons test at the Vastrap military base in South Africa’s Kalahari desert. [26] In addition to minimizing the nuclear threat & getting rid of nuclear weapons, we need to get rid of the nuclear state, and have truly democratic state again — a well-informed, principled, democratic state. [31] One of the most detrimental effects of nuclear weapons has been the development of the nuclear state. [31] “While the United States has continued to reduce the number and salience of nuclear weapons, others, including Russia and China, have moved in the opposite direction,” the report says. [40] The author argues that the United States should become less dependent upon nuclear weapons as instruments of policy. [41] What was the difference between being blown up by conventional explosives and being vaporized by a radioactive fireball? The Atomic Energy Commission, which developed and built the bombs, certainly believed there was a difference and retained tight custody of nuclear weapons. [38] The 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was not signed by any nuclear powers and shows a growing divide between countries with and those without atomic weapons. [26] The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) : Coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. [31]

The U.S., Russia and other powers now plan to invest over $1 trillion to create new, more modern nuclear weapons. [31] In 1997, with the Clinton Administration continuing for a second term, there was little change in the public eye regarding nuclear weapons strategies, although an internal effort to update U.S. nuclear doctrine was issued as a classified directive to the Pentagon through a Presidential Decision Directive. [27] I believe that the world, in fact, would become more dangerous, not less dangerous, were U.S. nuclear weapons to be absent. [27] I would begin the discussion of deterring wide threats with another important observation: I believe that nuclear weapons do have a place and purpose today in other than a Russian context. [27] Powered by a visionary group of 300 international leaders and experts who support our bold, step-by-step plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2030, the relentless creativity, energy and optimism of young people and half a million citizens worldwide, Global Zero is challenging the 20th century idea of basing national security on the threat of mass destruction. [31] Such a system would critically depend on the defense satellite constellations still functioning during a conflict in which only a limited number of nuclear weapons would be available for use. [27] “?if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.” [31] The whole question of, Against whom would we really contemplate the use of nuclear weapons? is an important political and international issue. [27] Unfortunately, we cannot enjoy the ambiguity of such declarations forever, even though the decision to seriously consider nuclear retaliation for use of less than nuclear weapons would carry a heavy burden of demonstrating proportionality. [27] At a November press conference, he told reporters he would take whatever steps were necessary to win in Korea, including the use of nuclear weapons. [38] I served as an arms negotiator on the last two agreements before the dissolution of the Soviet Union and have spent most of my career enmeshed in the complexity of nuclear weapons issues on the government side of the table. [27] Don’t Bank on the Bomb : A European effort to discourage investments in companies that help build or upgrade nuclear weapons. [31] When General William Westmoreland tried to move nuclear weapons to South Vietnam, he was immediately over-ruled by President Lyndon Johnson — a man who didn?t hesitate to order the bombings of civilian populations with conventional weapons. [39] They and others began to suggest that nuclear weapons could be reduced to extremely low levels, advocating instead that advanced conventional weapons – particularly precision-guided munitions – should become the primary defense option. [27] It is my sincere view that the majority of the nations who have now acquired arsenals of nuclear weapons believe them to be such potent tools for deterring conflicts that they would never surrender them. [27] We have made pledges not to attack with nuclear weapons those nations who either do not possess, or are not allied to aggressor nations who do possess, nuclear weapons. [27] To succeed in harnessing this power, effective nuclear weapons strategies and policies are necessary ingredients to help shape and maintain a stable and peaceful world. [27] In the 1993 review of our military posture, nuclear weapons questions initially were put aside, then undertaken under a separate activity called the Nuclear Posture Review, which was completed in 1994. [27] Nuclear weapons went from being a guarantor of peace through deterrence for physicists Bohr, Lawrence, and the pre-1949 Oppenheimer to being a cartoon doomsday machine in the hands of crusading scientists and sensationalizing journalists. [39] Whereas, nuclear weapons should always remain weapons of last resort, defensive systems would likely be our weapons of first resort. [27] “The potential for the spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most serious threats to world peace,” reads a typical passage. [39] The “Nuclear Vault” includes all previous and forthcoming Archive Electronic Briefing Books on nuclear weapons policy, cross-referenced with an index. [30] General support to the Archive from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has been essential for the long-term success of this project in getting nuclear weapons policy documents declassified. [30] It is abundantly clear (to me) that formulating a new nuclear weapons policy for the start of the 21 st Century will be a most difficult undertaking. [27] Abolition 2000 : An international global network of organizations and individuals working for a global treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. [31] The fear of spread of nuclear weapons also added an interesting twist to the debate on external assistance to Nth countries. [28] When nuclear weapons spread to other countries, as they certainly would, no one would be able any longer to win. [39] Even the journal Science, in 1961, published an article noting that strontium-90, a radioactive isotope produced by weapons testing, being found in the teeth of children born during nuclear weapons testing, even though the levels were 200 times less than those found to cause cancer. [39]

According to cold war historian John Lewis Gaddis, who was interviewed about the Korean War for a 1999 PBS documentary “American Experience: Race for the Superbomb,” the role of the atomic bomb was undefined. [38] It sounds like the stuff from a Cold War novel: A Russian intercontinental nuclear-armed torpedo that can travel thousands of miles and strike U.S. coastal cities with minimal warning. [40] Among the fundamentals of a policy, the U.S. should reemphasize the principle it has embraced for most of the Cold War, namely that we will never directly or systematically target civilians. [27] As long as there are large destructive forces in being, I believe that the deterrent policy and the force structure created during the Cold War cannot be abandoned entirely. [27] Projections regarding Nth country proliferation during the Cold War can be neatly divided into two periods, the first from 1949 to 1964 and the second from 1965 until the Soviet collapse in 1991. [28] Forecasts during the Cold War retained a disproportionate focus on the two superpowers, with Western predictions regarding Soviet capability taking center stage. [28] The strategy and policy for continuing to deter Russia follows closely that which we developed during the Cold War. [27] Moscow’s decision to consult Washington before going public with the discovery indicates the Cold War foes could still work together in non-proliferation matters, says Nicholas Redman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. [26]


With respect to Russian use of such weapons, the United States and NATO rely on their arsenal of nonstrategic and strategic nuclear as well as their conventional forces to respond to such employment. [25] Just prior to its expiration in June 2013, Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin agreed to replace the umbrella agreement with a protocol to the 2003 Framework Agreement on a Multilateral Nuclear Environmental program in the Russian Federation (MNEPR), which enabled joint programs on nuclear security to continue but effectively ended U.S. assistance to help dismantle Russian missiles, bombers, and chemical weapons. [1] Most recently under Obama’s administration, the U.S. and Russia agreed to further reduce their strategic nuclear missile launchers, amongst other weapons. [7] During his State of the Nation address on 1 March 2018, Vladimir Putin revealed a variety of developmental weapons programs, including new strategic nuclear delivery systems. [1] Bans on nuclear testing, anti-ballistic missile systems, and weapons in space all attempted to limit the expansion of the arms race through the Partial Test Ban Treaty. [3] In the past, the U.S. and NATO quite explicitly substituted nuclear for conventional weapons. [5] Russia has never disclosed the number and types of weapons in its non-strategic nuclear stockpile. [1] The atomic bomb, and nuclear bombs, are powerful weapons that use nuclear reactions as their source of explosive energy. [17] The MFA statement cited Russia’s increasing financial contributions to the dismantlement of nuclear and chemical weapons in accordance with its international obligations, and noted a disagreement with “American partners” on “the form and the basis for further cooperation,” including the need to develop “other, more modern legal frameworks.” [1] On debates of the morality of these weapons, it becomes very difficult for politicians to defend this in any way other than to say it’s a terrible fact of the nuclear age–citing that they are forced to keep these weapons by the terrible logic of the nuclear age. [6] All of whom either had nuclear programmes or actual weapons and have given them up. [6]

Policymakers should remember that nuclear modernization is not only about weapons, but also about delivery systems. [2] Commonly known as Star Wars, SDI is envisioned as a satellite-based nuclear defense system, which would destroy incoming missiles and warheads in space. [23] The nuclear bomb got in the way, which forced both sides to talk things out, thsu preventing war. [24]

Moscow appears to have developed a strategy of “escalating to deescalate” through so-called strategic conventional and, if necessary, nuclear strikes. 15 Russia appears to envision such employment (or threatened employment) as important in the context of a conflict with the United States in which Moscow wants to terminate the war before Washington can bring to bear the full brunt of its superior non-nuclear forces. [25] From the Russian perspective, the increased prospect of a limited conventional war, for which Russian conventional forces were ill-prepared, necessitated an expansion of the nuclear mission from that of “core deterrence” against an existential threat to include deterrence against a large-scale conventional attack. [1] After the United States did greatly increase its nuclear and conventional arms during the Korean War, the Soviet leadership for its own domestic reasons made only a partial response. [17] In 1995, United States policy and strategy regarding nuclear proliferation was outlined in the document ” Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence “, produced by the Policy Subcommittee of the Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) of the United States Strategic Command. [3]

It?s the U.S. that possesses an enormous conventional advantage; Russia, which in conventional military terms is a mere rump state of the former Soviet Union, relies on its nuclear capabilities to the extent that it?s concerned about the need to counter U.S. and NATO conventional capabilities. [5] Accordingly, the United States and NATO are going to need to dedicate considerable attention to fortifying their conventional force posture in Europe and to adapting their nuclear strategy. 19 Indeed, this is already happening, with efforts to understand the nature of the threat from Russia and how to adapt to it already the subject of much U.S. government and NATO focus–and highly likely to continue to be so. [25] Moscow evinces serious concern about the survivability of its forces in the face of a determined U.S. attack–one that Russians fear could involve not only nuclear strikes but also conventional and non-kinetic (such as cyber) attacks backstopped by missile defenses designed to “mop up” residual forces that survived such an assault. [25]

A Russian government document says the halting of the program came after the U.S. Department of Energy sent a letter to the Rosatom State Corporation “announcing the suspension of nuclear energy cooperation in connection with the events in Ukraine.” [1] The most powerful bombs used in WWII until August 1945 contained 10 tons of TNT; the average yield of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs was the equivalent of 18,000 tons of TNT. The first U.S. thermonuclear test, in November 1952, had a yield of over 10 megatons, almost 580 times the power of the nuclear devices exploded in August 1945. [5] This agreement was ended when the Soviets resumed testing in 1961, followed by a series of nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. These events led to much political fallout, as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. [3] Shortly after, the U.S. withdrew all their nuclear missiles from Turkey in secret, which had threatened the Soviets. [3] When we?ve talked about countries like South Korea or Japan being under the U.S. nuclear umbrella or about preventing Soviet aggression against our NATO allies, we were talking about extended deterrence. [5] The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), also known as the Moscow Treaty, was a nuclear disarmament treaty between the U.S. and Russia that was signed by Presidents Bush and Vladimir Putin on 24 May 2002. [1] At the strategic level, the United States retains substantial capabilities for limited nuclear operations (though these capabilities should be modernized, improved, and expanded) that would allow Washington to effectively respond to Russian tactical use with tailored nuclear strikes of its own. [25] Since the nadir of Russian military power in the 1990s, Moscow has modernized its nuclear strike forces and also sought to recapitalize its early warning and nuclear command and control architectures. [25] To the extent that is U.S. military capabilities that spur them to do so, it is not U.S. nuclear capabilities but U.S. conventional capabilities, particularly the manner in which they have been used since 9/11, that is most prominently at play. [5] This treaty as well as the era of the dente ended with the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in January, 1980. 34 The United States once again significantly increased military and nuclear spending, while the Soviets were unable to respond and continued to pursue the dente. [3]

The U.S. discovered that the Soviets were in the process of positioning nuclear missiles in Communist Cuba. [23] The U.S. nuclear stockpile it little different from that designed to fight the Soviet Union and is nearly useless against today’s threats. [2] The Tsar Bomba (King of the Bombs) is detonated after U.S. and USSR agree to limit nuclear testing. [23] October, 26, Khrushchev receives a cable from Castro urging a nuclear first strike against the U.S. in the event of an invasion of Cuba. [23] December 1987, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Reagan sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces — the first arms accord signed by both Moscow and Washington that calls for the elimination of an entire class of weapons — intermediate-range missiles. [23] These advantages keep the other in check until the detonation of the Soviet atomic bomb in 1949, kicking off a massive arms race between the USSR and the USA in both nuclear and aerospace technologies. [24]

The United States must prepare its nuclear capabilities for all of these possibilities, while also establishing the correct offensive-defensive mix and maintaining a robust defensive posture. [2] In the case of Cuba, if there were no nuclear bombs possessed by Cuba, The USA would launch an invasion of Cuba. [24] Tactical nuclear are for use on the battlefield in limited tactical situations. [24] August 1985, the Soviet Union announces a nuclear testing moratorium. [23] For the Americans this meant continuity of government plans, a re-investment in hardened missile silos, and the design and deployment of a new generation of ballistic missile submarines powered by nuclear reactors. [24]

In 1956 Moscow issued veiled nuclear threats to France and the United Kingdom during the Suez Crisis, and a continuation of this strategy?coupled with a perception of U.S. weakness following the failed Bay of Pigs invasion?led to the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Soviet Union deployed medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. [1] To ensure the success of the first Soviet nuclear test, codenamed “First Lightning,” the Soviet Union copied the U.S. Fat Man design supplied by Fuchs. [1] While the U.S. developed a strategy called “Operation Crossroads” in which they tested how well nuclear explosions performed on battleships, the Soviet Union constructed a domestic supply of uranium and surprised the world by detonating its first atomic bomb in August 1949. [7]

On December 22, 2016, U.S. President Donald Trump proclaimed in a tweet that “the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” 39 effectively challenging the world to re-engage in a race for nuclear dominance. [3] While it is true that the United States has made enormous strides in its ability to establish and wield what the Russians refer to as a “reconnaissance strike complex” (or a “battle network” in American parlance), the United States is still far short of being able to destroy, intercept, or ward off all or very nearly all of Russia’s nuclear strike forces under any conceivable circumstance. [25] Discussion is tending to concentrate on what conventional forces to deploy into the former Warsaw Pact states, particularly the Baltic states and Poland, and on whether any changes to the Alliance’s nuclear posture are in order. 20 The decisions by the United States and the Alliance to buttress their conventional force posture in Eastern Europe in early 2016 reflect this dynamic and likely represent only a beginning to this evolution. [25] Some in the United States during the early 1960s pointed out that although all of the individual components of nuclear missiles had been tested separately (warheads, navigation systems, rockets), it was infeasible to test them all combined. [3] Both nations quickly began the development of a hydrogen bomb and the United States detonated the first hydrogen bomb on November 1, 1952, on Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean. 12 Code-named “Ivy Mike”, the project was led by Edward Teller, a Hungarian-American nuclear physicist. [3] The first successful hydrogen bomb test occurred on November 8, 1957, which had a yield of 1.8 megatons. 24 An amendment to the Atomic Energy Act in 1958 allowed nuclear cooperation once again, and British-U.S. nuclear programs resumed. [3]

As part of the “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations during President Barack Obama’s first term, the United States and Russia attempted to promote civilian nuclear cooperation. [1] In December 2014, following an increase in diplomatic hostilities between Russia and the United States over the situation in Ukraine, Moscow announced that it would no longer accept Washington’s assistance to secure stockpiles of nuclear material on Russian territory. [1]

Bryan Bender, “Russia ends U.S. nuclear security alliance,” The Boston Globe, 19 January 2015, [1] There is increasing recognition in Western capitals that Moscow’s integrated approach, ultimately buttressed by its nuclear escalation options, presents a significant problem for Allied security and U.S. extended deterrence. [25] This was primarily due to the economic impact that nuclear testing and production had on both U.S. and Soviet economies. [3] Initially, the U.S. Army-Air Force (then the USAF after 1947) took the lead; relatively soon, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy went nuclear. [5] Eventually Russia and the U.S. had the two largest nuclear programs. [8]

It would also need sensors on the ground, in the air, and in space with radar, optical, and infrared technology to detect incoming missiles. 35 Simultaneously, however, Reagan initiated negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev ultimately resulting in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on reducing nuclear stockpiles. [3] The agreement, named the ” New START Treaty,” limits each side to 1,550 warheads, and 800 deployed and non-deployed strategic nuclear delivery vehicles (of which a maximum of 700 can be deployed). [1]

The nuclear borderlands: the Manhattan Project in post-Cold War New Mexico (paperback ed.). [3] In the years immediately after the Second World War, the United States had a monopoly on specific knowledge of and raw materials for nuclear weaponry. [3]

Just six months after the UN General Assembly, the United States conducted its first post-war nuclear tests. [3]

Delivery vehicles carried by these aircraft include the Kh-55 Kent (AS-15) air-launched cruise missile (ALCM), AS-16 Kickback (Kh-15) short-range attack missiles, and a large but unknown number of nuclear gravity bombs. [1] Interrupting, delaying, or otherwise disrupting communications with deployed forces would not obviate the need eventually to destroy them, since such forces could still launch attacks, including via redundant nuclear command, control, and communications chains, yet such disruptions would not necessarily diminish these forces’ survivability. [25]

Extended deterrence has provided an excuse for European states such as Germany and Asian states such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan for not going nuclear. [5] In 1958, both the U.S. and Soviet Union agreed to informally suspend nuclear testing. [3] Something had to be done to ease the great tensions between these two countries, so on October 10, 1963, the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) was signed. 32 This was an agreement between the U.S., the Soviet Union, and the U.K., which significantly restricted nuclear testing. [3] This period included negotiation of a number of arms control agreements, building with the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in the 1950s, but with significant new treaties negotiated in the 1970s. [3]

This entries details the development of nuclear technology, the number of warheads and the number of countries with nuclear capabilities. [4]

Only in July 1940 did Soviet scientists alert the government to the possible military applications of nuclear fission. [1] Despite major contributions to the Manhattan Project by both Canadian and British governments, the U.S. Congress passed the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, which prohibited multi-national cooperation on nuclear projects. [3] New civilian structures were stood up, including the Atomic Energy Commission, which over time became the Department of Energy; subsequently, we saw the establishment of National Nuclear Security Administration. [5] The Nuclear Threat Initiative is looking for innovative new ways to use the NTI Nuclear Security Index rankings and data to improve understanding of the way nuclear materials and facilities are secured around the world and to highlight needs and spur action among governments. [1] His previous books include two editions of Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, (2005 and 2002), and previous reports include Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security (co-author, March 2005) and WMD in Iraq (co-author, January 2004). [6]

Unlike Iraq or Serbia, Russia possesses among the world’s most advanced air defenses, counterspace and cyberweapons, and conventional and nuclear strike arsenals. [25] Russia fields two heavy bombers as part of the air-based leg of its strategic nuclear triad, the Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95MS (Bear H), which comes in two variants the MS6 (Bear H6) and MS16 (Bear H16). [1] Because of these two factors, any contest between the United States/NATO and Russia would be shadowed by the prospect of nuclear use, and probably heavily so. [25] “Nuclear Power in Russia,” World Nuclear Association, updated July 2018,; “???????????? ?????????????? ” Rosatom, Accessed 29 March 2012, [1] Nuclear Fuel Cycle Companies,” Rosatom,; “Nuclear Power in Russia,” World Nuclear Association, [1] “Nuclear Power in Russia,” World Nuclear Association, updated July 2018, [1] “Nuclear Power in Russia,” World Nuclear Association, Accessed 28 June 2017, [1] “Large Fast Reactor Approved for Beloyarsk,” World Nuclear News, 27 June 2012,; “??????? ??-800 ????? ???? ??????? ? 2013 ????,” Atomic Construction Projects in Russia blog, Rosatom, 11 November 2011,; “Russia’s BN-800 unit enters commercial operation,” World Nuclear News, 1 November 2016, [1] International Atomic Energy Agency, “International Nuclear Safety Experts Conclude IAEA Peer Review of the Regulatory System of the Russian Federation,” 27 November 2009, [1]

After several adjustments over the next few years, Russian nuclear doctrine stabilized in the form of a “White Paper” issued in 2003, which provides considerably more detail on the missions assigned to Russian strategic forces. [1] When the United States began boycotting Cuban sugar, the Soviet Union began purchasing large quantities to support the Cuban economy in return for fuel and eventually placing nuclear ballistic missiles on Cuban soil. [3] Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia faced the enormous task of controlling, accounting for, and securing the Soviet nuclear legacy. [1]

The most significant difference between the 2000 doctrine and the one from 1993 was its formal expansion of the nuclear mission from deterrence against not only a nuclear attack, but also against a large-scale conventional attack. [1] It yielded 14.8 megatons, which is the largest nuclear explosion tested by the U.S. The explosion was so large the nuclear fallout exposed residents up to 300 miles away to significant amounts of radiation. [3] Many argue that it was credible in the 1950s because the U.S. had nuclear superiority, and Assured Destruction wasn?t mutual. [5]

Unlike punishment, denial places a premium on the ability to destroy not just countervalue but military, “counterforce,” targets, especially the other side?s nuclear capabilities, such as its ICBMs and command and control centers. [5] In addition to this, Israel maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity and refuses to confirm or deny its nuclear capabilities. [4]

The closest thing to an actual test was 1962’s Operation Frigate Bird, in which the submarine USS Ethan Allen (SSBN-608) launched a Polaris A2 missile over 1,000 miles to the nuclear test site at Christmas Island. [3] The Russian nuclear industry is regulated by the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervisory Service (Rostekhnadzor), which was established in 2004 and reports directly to the Russian President. [1] President Putin confirmed that Russia is developing a nuclear-powered unmanned underwater vehicle for the delivery of “massive nuclear ordinance.” [1] Russia might conduct a targeted nuclear strike to convince an adversary that further aggression is not worthwhile. [1]

This is about striking second, about being able to absorb a nuclear blow, having forces that would survive, and being able to retaliate and punish the enemy. [5] They could have also done it for purposes of prestige–think France and India who didn’t have security threats that justified a nuclear programme. [6] As we sit here today, nuclear weaponry still exists as the fiercest of our arsenal worldwide, posing a real and immediate threat to the existence of our species. [6]

By the late 1980s, the number of nations developing nuclear weapons started falling and has remained steady since the mid-1990s. [4] In South Asia, India and Pakistan have also engaged in a technological nuclear arms race since the 1970s. [3] Nuclear safety appears to have improved in recent years, as no incidents higher than Level 0 (the lowest according to the INES scale), have been reported since 2004. [1] Note from the source: ‘Country names marked with “-” represent the year in which a nuclear program in that country was stopped. [4]

For the first time in 1955, the first nuclear powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched. [8] The Russian government plans to expand civilian nuclear energy over the coming decades through the construction of new reactors. [1] A 2013 follow-up mission conducted by the IAEA recognized “the Russian Federation’s commitment to implementing the recommendations of the 2009 mission while also strengthening the Agency’s safety standards as called for in the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety.” [1] Measurements from about 200 stations at 18 different facilities are available to the public through the website “Radiation Environment at Rosatom Enterprises,” which is maintained by the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for the Safe Development of Nuclear Energy. [1] “???????????? ?????????? ?? ???????????? ????????,” Accessed 9 April 2012,; “?????????? ?? ????? ????????,” Institute of the Safe Development of Nuclear Energy Development of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Accessed 9 April 2012, [1] Eventually the Russians caught on and soon both fleets had ships nuclear reactors on them. [8]

The nuclear revolution had greater strategic than operational or tactical war-fighting implications. [5] The environmental effects from one nuclear bomb, apart from the immediate three or four mile diameter destructive zone, would be mainly from fall-out and radiation, which would be serious, but not long lasting. [6] Richard Rhodes suggests that Igor Kurchatov may have alerted his government to the possible military significance of nuclear fission in 1939 (Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), p. 501). [1] In the last few decades of the 20th century, India and Pakistan began to develop nuclear-capable rockets and nuclear military technologies. [3]

A new technology, known as multiple-independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV), allowed single missiles to hold and launch multiple nuclear missiles at targets while in mid-air. [3] Other “pathways” might interact, however, with these two routes to heighten the risk of nuclear use. [25] The Nuclear Age began with the World War II Manhattan Project (1942-46), which culminated in the Trinity test on July 16, 1945, of the “Gadget” and the August 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [5] This was called Operation Crossroads. 11 The purpose of this operation was to test the effectiveness of nuclear explosions on ships. [3]

Upon commissioning, the power plant will replace the power supplied from the Bilibino nuclear plant and the Chaunsky thermal power plant. [1] “Russia’s BN-800 unit brought to minimum controlled power,” World Nuclear News, 4 August 2015, [1]

In the tumultuous political and financial climate of the 1990s, the government had difficulty paying salaries at its nuclear facilities, and also could not fund security upgrades, scrapping of nuclear delivery systems, or undertaking new accounting measures. [1] Does a nuclear war-fighting capability enhance or erode deterrence? According to Assured Destruction, it erodes deterrence; according to Flexible Response, it enhances deterrence. [5] The nuclear terrorism threat is uniformly judged to be the most urgent threat. [6] Jerry Davydov and Bryan Lee, “Russia’s Nuclear Rearmament: Policy Shift or Business as Usual,” NTI Issue Brief, 18 December 2013, [1] ” ‘ Let it be an arms race’: Donald Trump appears to double down on nuclear expansion”. [3] Soon after, the U.S. and USSR agreed to SALT, the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, which capped a nation’s arsenal of weapons, putting both nations at ease about the amount of nuclear power present in the world. [7] Efforts led by other U.S. government agencies focused on the engagement of Russian scientists through projects such as materials protection, control, and accounting (MPC&A), and provided financial incentives to reduce fissile material stocks through programs such as Megatons to Megawatts, an initiative that purchased HEU from Russian weapons and downgraded its enrichment to LEU for U.S. nuclear power reactor fuel. [1] In the 1970s, the U.S. and Soviet Union agreed to a detente, a formal agreement that would limit the amount of money a nation would spend on nuclear power and other weapons. [7]

The summit did pave the way for arms control treaties in the following years, including the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which eliminated an entire category of weapons on both sides (all nuclear and conventional ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,000 km). [1]

The actual number of deployed Russian warheads is likely higher since the treaty counts one strategic bomber as one operationally deployed warhead even though, for example, the Tu095 MS16 bomber can carry up to sixteen weapons. [1] When the U.S. Manhattan Project that built the bomb began, no-one ever thought we would use a weapon like this; it was considered beyond the pale–a weapon that would indiscriminately kill hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. [6]

Were there enough atomic/nuclear weapons to destroy the world if the Cuban missile crisis went wrong? If a war did play out, what countries wo. [24] Deter : Deterrence is still an essential concept in the post-Cold War environment, but today’s circumstances, such as increasing proliferation, mean that weapons must be more flexible. [2]

They are basically a conventional weapon system, like a surface to air missile, artillery shell, etc which has a nuclear warhead in place of conventional explosives. [24] The Mutually-Assured Destruction concept – if combatant group 1 has sufficient weapons including nuclear warheads ready to launch, that would eradicate the main civilization centers of another group; and that other group has in its position sufficient weapons, including nuclear warheads ready to be launched that would destroy the major civilization centers of the opponents, then that is Mutually Assured Destruction. [24]

Today’s threats are regional powers armed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and long-range delivery mechanisms. [2] These weapons have large yields, up to 25 MT. The Tsar Bomba tested by the USSR with a yield of 50 MT was a strategic weapon. [24] They would be used in place of a conventional weapon to ensure target destruction towards a given objective. [24] Stability, credibility, and the correct mix of capabilities are all more critical than the sheer number of weapons. [2] Defeat: In order to defeat an adversary, the right capabilities (for example, high accuracy, low yield, and uniquely tailored weapons) must be on hand when required. [2] These are not really military weapons, they are political weapons. [24] While work was underway on the Soviet Union’s first atomic weapon, a group of scientists including Andrei Sakharov, Yakov Zeldovich, and Khariton were already conducting work on an early thermonuclear device. [1] After Stalin’s death in 1953 and Beria’s subsequent arrest and execution, the military assumed responsibility for the Soviet weapons program. [1]

There is, in fact, a great consensus on the goal of moving down to low hundreds of weapons in U.S. and Russian arsenals. [6] The PNIs only indicated the share of warheads each side pledged to eliminate, and follow-up statements issued by the Russian government regarding implementation have referenced reductions only in percentage terms rather than aggregate numbers of weapons dismantled or removed from deployment. [1] Military forces still find some utility for small numbers of these weapons. [6]

What kind of nuclear capabilities are required to punish an aggressor, to impose unacceptable costs on an aggressor? Punishment is thought to require not only offensive strike capabilities, but also retaliatory, second- (rather than first-) strike capabilities. [5] What kind of nuclear capabilities are required to deny an aggressor the accomplishment of objectives? Denial requires all the capabilities needed for punishment and more. [5] Denial, clearly, requires a full suite of nuclear war-fighting capabilities. [5] Does nuclear superiority matter? No; absolute capabilities are what matter. [5] The data presented here is taken from the Federation of American Scientists Nuclear Notebook and should be taken as a best-estimate of the capabilities of each country. [4]

A tradition of nonuse, which some think is sufficiently strong as to constitute a nuclear taboo, has developed over the years. [5] Many experts believe that if we keep on with our current policies, there is a high likelihood of a nuclear terrorist incident within the next ten years. [6]

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a time lapse map that shows every nuclear explosion between 1945 and 1998. [4] Beria chaired the Spetskom, providing prison labor for construction of the nuclear complex, while Kurchatov remained Scientific Director of the program. [1] The entirety of Russia’s civilian nuclear program is managed by Atomenergoprom, a holding company of Rosatom. [1]

New service elites–strategic bomber pilots and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) operators in the USAF and nuclear submariners in the USN–appeared. [5]

It’s coming to the point where Israel has to consider taking its nuclear bombs out of the basement and putting them on the negotiating table, using its nuclear arsenal as a tool for negotiating a security arrangement that would prevent any country in the Middle East from getting the one weapon that would destroy Israel. [6] Pavel Podvig, “Plans for the new strategic bomber,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 22 May 2014,; “Russian Space-Age Stealth Bomber to Hit the Skies with Hypersonic Weapons,” Sputnik International News, 20 April 2016, [1]

Behind the scenes, the Soviet government was working on building its own atomic weapons. [3] The United States was afraid that Hitler was developing an atomic weapon, and they had to get one to deter him from ever using it. [6] The names in the graph below represent nations developing weapons, and countries marked with “-” represent the year in which development in that country ceased. [4] Many countries leave open though the option of using these weapons in non-nuclear circumstances–that is, if they were necessary in a conventional military battle or if they were necessary to counter-attack chemical or biological weapons. [6] Almost every state that has these weapons says they are purely defensive. [6] Pakistan had its own covert atomic bomb projects in 1972 which extended over many years since the first Indian weapon was detonated. [3] After the 1974 test, Pakistan’s atomic bomb program picked up a great speed and accelerated its atomic project to successfully build its own atomic weapons program. [3] Modern weapons that are deployed are ten to thirty times the size of those bombs and are hydrogen bombs or fusion devices. [6] Fat Man was an implosion-type fission weapon, a more complex plutonium bomb. [5] The danger is that a small group like Al-Qaeda could get a bomb or the material to build a bomb that would be a Hiroshima size weapon, and that they would detonate it in a major city. [6] “Putin announces Russia possesses hypersonic weapons,” Tass, 1 March 2018, [1] Eventually a deal made where Russia would pull its weapons out of Cuba and America had to pull theirs out of Turkey. [8]

These weapons are therefore still tied very closely to elite views of what national power is. [6] Despite dente, both sides continued to develop and introduce more accurate weapons and weapons with more warheads (” MIRVs “). [3] If you can stop the programmes there, you can largely resolve the proliferation problem–you can largely resolve the risk of new countries getting these weapons. [6] There is no way to ensure that other countries will not acquire the weapons to destroy you, if you insist on holding on to hundreds of those weapons yourself. [6] When President Truman informed Stalin of the weapons, he was surprised at how calmly Stalin reacted to the news and thought that Stalin had not understood what he had been told. [3] It is foolish to think that we can keep these weapons lying around indefinitely and that they won’t be used, they will be. [6] One of Albert Einstein’s famous quotes is “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” [8]

Even though we still have approximately twenty thousand hydrogen bombs in the arsenals of the United States and Russia (many of them ready to use at a moment’s notice) the two risks that most experts think are the greatest and most likely are the risks of a single bomb being used by a terrorist group or the risk of a regional war involving dozens of weapons–for example between India and Pakistan. [6] On August 15, after these two uses of the bomb (and the Soviet entry into the war against Japan), Emperor Hirohito announced Japan?s surrender. [5]

Given the emphasis that was placed on the U.S. design for the first Soviet test, and the Soviets’ use of their own designs thereafter, there is a significant debate over the role of espionage, versus Soviet science, in the development of the country’s atomic bomb. [1] Michael I. Schwartz highlights the vital role that espionage played in “The Russian-A(merican) Bomb: The Role of Espionage in the Soviet Atomic Bomb Project,” Journal of Undergraduate Sciences, Volume 3, (Summer 1996); and David Holloway in Stalin and the Bomb, (Yale: Yale University Press, 1994), states that the Soviet scientists did not have access to intelligence passed by Klaus Fuchs to the Soviet government. [1]

It has been suggested as well that the sheer size of the U.S. (and Soviet or Russian) nuclear arsenals have dissuaded others from attempting to increase their nuclear capabilities or even joining the nuclear club since competing seriously with the likes of the United States is hopeless. [5] On April 8, 2010, former U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New START Treaty, which called for a fifty percent reduction of strategic nuclear missile launchers and a curtailment of deployed nuclear warheads. 38 The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in December 2010 by a three-quarter majority. [3]

The Gryphon (pictured below) is inferior to a submarine launched missile or an ICBM in nearly every way save cost and yet allowed the United States to use its nuclear arsenal as a political level against the Soviets in Europe. [24] In Africa, newly independent nations such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, received military backing and other assistance from the United States and the USSR. American-Soviet competition in the Third World intensified once again, this time during the civil war in Angola and the Somali-Ethiopian war over the Ogaden region. [23] The Escalation phase is marked by the certainty that war will eventually come between the United States and the Soviet Union. [24]

The Cuban Missile Crisis brought a much needed reality check on the nature of the war that the Superpowers were preparing for. [24] Even in the post-Cold War environment, deterrence remains important. [2]

The atomic bomb had two objectives: a quick end of World War II and possession by the U.S. (and not USSR), would allow control of foreign policy. [23]

Both the United States and the Soviet Union began to think seriously about the ways in which they could construct their nuclear arsenals such that they could be counted upon to deliver a killing blow if the other struck first. [24] Adopt a dual strategy of nuclear deterrence toward belligerent states and proliferation prevention among law-abiding states. [2] For more than thirty years, the ICBM has been the symbol of the United States’ strategic nuclear arsenal. [23] From the Cuban missile crisis both sides learned that risking nuclear war in pursuit of political objectives was simply too dangerous. [23]

Igor Kurchatov was appointed scientific director of the atomic project in March 1943, but at this stage the program remained a hedge against future uncertainties, with the government skeptical that a bomb could be developed quickly enough to affect the outcome of the war. [1] Russian concerns about its conventional inferiority vis-à-vis NATO were reignited in 1999 following NATO intervention in the war in Kosovo. [1] During the war, Soviet efforts had been limited by a lack of uranium but new supplies in Eastern Europe were found and provided a steady supply while the Soviets developed a domestic source. [3] The course of an arms race has frequently exacerbated a sense of rivalry and occasionally even determined the timing of a war; but most often it has ended in a political settlement between rivals or in a decision by one side to moderate its buildup. [17] Though the naval arms race did poison Anglo-German relations, it was the actions of the German army, not the German navy, that ultimately produced war in 1914. [17] Many onlookers, and some participants, have claimed that the likelihood of war increases as the accumulation of arms proceeds apace. [17]

In 1946, Bernard Brodie, one of the Wizards of Armageddon, observed “Thus far the chief purpose of our military establishment has been to win wars. [5] The objective of deterrence is to prevent aggression and war, not necessarily to be able to fight a war. [5] The ultimate result was not war, but rather an Anglo-French political settlement in 1904 and an Anglo-Russian rapprochement in 1907 against the background of a rising German threat. [17] As Hinde and Rotblat wrote in their 2003 book War No More, “The threat of extinction of the human race hangs like the sword of Damocles. [6]

The U.S. then blockaded Cuba, and the Russians threatened to start a nuclear war. [8] While the U.S. military had been ordered to DEFCON 2, reaching a nuclear war was still a ways off. [3]

“??-28 / ??? ??????, ?????? 15?28 – SS-X-30 SARMAT ” Military Russia Blog, 31 March 2018,; Pavel Podvig, “Yes, Sarmat program is in trouble,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 3 July 2017,; Pavel Podvig, “Sarmat ejection test, at last,”& Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 29 December 2017, [1] Pavel Podvig, “Bulava missile test history,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 28 November 2014, [1] Pavel Podvig, “Strategic Fleet,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 25 February 2015,; National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat, NASIC-1031-0993-13, 2013, p.25, [1]

It is well known that Russia has fielded redundant mechanisms for launch orders, including the (infamous) Perimeter, or Dead Hand, system that would have launched Soviet nuclear forces in the event of the destruction of the USSR’s leadership. 10 Some reports indicate the Russians still may have such a system. 11 Thus decapitating the Russian leadership could well achieve the very result it was designed to avoid–the launch of a massive Russian strike. [25] Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian nuclear forces, 2014,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 70, No. 2 (March 2014), p. 79; Jerry Davydov and Bryan Lee, “Russia’s Nuclear Rearmament: Policy Shift or Business as Usual,” NTI Issue Brief, 18 December 2013, [1] Pavel Podvig, “Strategic Rocket Forces,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 15 January 2015,; Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian nuclear forces, 2014,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 70, No. 2 (March 2014), p. 76; Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Russian nuclear forces, 2013,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 69, No. 3 (May 2013), p. 73. [1] Pavel Podvig, “Russia to build six more Borey-A submarines,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 26 May 2018, [1] Pavel Podvig, “First Tu-160M2 takes flight, production contract for ten aircraft signed,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 26 January 2018,; “??????? ??? ?? ? ??-160?2: ????? ????? ???????? ??? ?????? ” Tass, 22 December 2017, [1]

Over the next 10 years, the Soviet Union and U.S added 12,000 nuclear warheads to their already built arsenals. [3] For some (although not this author), this dissuasion effect is cause for not reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal below the Moscow Treaty range of 1,700-2,200 warheads. [5] Although Trump has outwardly spoken for the need to again strengthen our nuclear arsenal, time will tell whether diplomatic relationships between the U.S. and Russia will strengthen or worsen. [7] Under the terms of the New START agreement, signed in April 2010, Russia was required to cut its strategic nuclear arsenal to 1,550 operational warheads and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers by February 2018. [1]

In February 2011, Vladimir Popovkin, Russia’s First Deputy Minister of Defense, announced that Moscow would spend about $70 billion on Russia’s strategic nuclear forces between 2011 and 2020. [1] The U.S. government has repeatedly raised concerns that the Rubezh might be intended to circumvent the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. [1] For the remainder of the 1990s, Russia debated the role and structure of its nuclear forces, mostly behind closed doors. [1] Under current circumstances and in light of plausible U.S. capabilities at least for the near to medium term, it is exceedingly improbable that any such large-scale U.S. preemptive attack could succeed to anywhere near the degree that would make such a “cosmic role of the dice” (in Harold Brown’s memorable phrase) minimally attractive and justifiable in situations short of the genuinely desperate and truly existential. [25] It is clear that both espionage and the progress of Soviet scientists played roles in the program, illustrated by Lavrenty Beria’s leadership of both operations. [1] Russia’s sea-based deterrent has traditionally played a more marginal role in Russian strategic planning than its strategic rocket forces. [1]

Germany’s attempt to surpass Britain’s fleet spilled over into World War I, while tensions after the war between the United States, Britain and Japan resulted in the first major arms-limitation treaty at the Washington Conference. [17] A third major naval arms race, involving the United States, Britain, and Japan, erupted at the end of World War I. [17]

These tests were performed at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific on 95 ships, including German and Japanese ships that were captured during World War II. One plutonium implosion-type bomb was detonated over the fleet, while the other one was detonated underwater. [3] After the first thermonuclear bomb was developed and tested, the whole world lived in fear of a nuclear war. [8] Should we develop the capabilities to enable us to fight a limited nuclear war, to control a nuclear war? No; doing so would erode deterrence and make nuclear war more likely; it implies you think you can survive a nuclear war. [5] Yes; indeed, deterrence requires the ability to fight a nuclear war. [5] Yes; there is no reason to think that nuclear war is any different than conventional war. [5] Is it possible to win a nuclear war (against another nuclear power)? No; there can be no meaningful victory in a nuclear war. [5]

By the 1950s both the United States and the Soviet Union had enough nuclear power to obliterate clarification needed the other side. [3] The People’s Republic of China became the fifth nuclear power on October 16, 1964 when it detonated a 25 kiloton uranium-235 bomb in a test codenamed 596 27 at Lop Nur. [3]

Obtaining an accurate count of the nuclear warheads possessed by each country today is difficult, since each country controls the publicly available information relating to its nuclear capabilities for security reasons. [4] At the time of the PNIs were initiated, Russia was estimated to have between 15,000 and 21,700 non-strategic nuclear warheads. [1] Moscow’s commitments to START I required it to destroy several strategic delivery vehicles, and to store or dismantle the resulting surplus nuclear warheads. [1] SALT I failed to address how many nuclear warheads could be placed on one missile. [3]

From 1992 to 1995 the percentage of Russian energy generated by nuclear power plants averaged 11.8 percent. [1] These targets were not met, and nuclear power currently accounts for 17.79 percent of Russian electricity production. [1]

Russia has ten nuclear power stations with 34 operational reactors. [1] “Russia starts work on Arctic dock for 1st-ever floating nuclear power plant,” RT News, 7 October 2016, [1]

Upon election, Gorbachev introduced a series of reforms, many of which attempted to continue to limit the amount of nuclear power each nation had. [7]

Pavel Podvig, “Strategic Fleet,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 29 June 2017, [1] Pavel Podvig, “Bulava is finally accepted for service,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Blog, 29 June 2018, [1]

This treaty limited both sides’ nuclear arsenals and technology. [3]

Shortly after the end of the Second World War in 1945, the United Nations was founded. [3] The result would be immediately one of the greatest catastrophes since World War II. Hundreds of thousands would die. [6]

While still possessing formidable inventories of nuclear and conventional weapons, the Soviet state shows no will to use its military power externally, and almost certainly lacks the political coherence to do so. [14] The U.S. navy has so far strongly resisted Soviet requests to bring naval weapons into the discussions on nuclear arms control. [14] These weapons were developed and deployed in Europe in response to the Soviet Union’s achieving the capacity to deliver a devastating nuclear attack against the United States. [14] The government appears to be focused on developing and fielding low-yield weapons that are more suitable for tactical use, though the current building of new missiles and warheads may be associated with new strategic nuclear payloads as well. [10] Until the U.S. Senate rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1999, there was a prohibition on nuclear testing and the development of new weapon designs with a yield of less than five kilotons. [10] After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. spent substantial resources on dismantling many of its weapons and production facilities as well as ensuring that its many nuclear scientists had alternative employment so as not to be tempted to sell their wares and expertise to the highest bidder. [12] We favor consummation of a comprehensive test ban treaty mainly because weapons testing has been so symbolic of the nuclear arms race-we might say symbolic of America’s commitment to nuclear madness. [14] The Bush administration concluded that it could dispense with thousands of weapons in the current stockpile, and it reached a bilateral agreement with Russia to institutionalize a reciprocal reduction in numbers of nuclear delivery systems and their associated nuclear payloads. [10] In response to statutory direction, the Bush administration published the Quadrennial Defense Review, the Nuclear Posture Review, the National Defense Strategy of the United States, and the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction. [10] The reciprocal fears aroused by the possibility of a devastating bolt-from-the-blue nuclear attack intensified as the weapons and their means of delivery continued to improve. [14] A single nuclear or biological weapon could produce tens or even hundreds of thousands of casualties. [10] To those fearful that a strategic nuclear exchange would destroy the United States, it offered the hope that war in Europe might be deterred by the prospect of Warsaw Pact forces suffering unacceptable punishment, but without escalation to a strategic nuclear exchange. [14] In the U.S. system, there is no institutional check or barrier to the president launching those missiles once he has identified himself to the Pentagon war room using his nuclear codes. [12] U.S. nuclear policy and strategy in this post-Cold War and post-9/11 security environment have not been well articulated and as a consequence are poorly understood both within and outside American borders. [33] This nation has continued to premise its war plans and procure its forces on the need for substantial counterforce nuclear capabilities. [14]

The first revision of the NATO policy in 11 years, it states that “deterrence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy?. [32] These are NATO states not included in the first two categories, along with other states with arrangements that place them under the so-called nuclear umbrella of U.S. extended deterrence, such as Australia, Japan, and South Korea. [32] Edward Ifft, an international relations officer at the U.S. Department of State and adjunct professor in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, has been involved in negotiating and implementing nuclear arms control agreements for the past 45 years. [32]

By mutual consent, the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972 was terminated by the United States and Russia, which have agreed to modify their nuclear offensive force posture significantly through a large reduction in the number of deployed delivery systems. [10] It is certainly relevant that from the early 1950s to the early 1960s, when the United States had clear “strategic superiority” and even a near monopoly of effective nuclear capability, the Soviet Union was not deterred from using force or the threat of it to maintain suzerainty over its European domains. [14] There are more similarities than differences in the stated deterrence policies of the United States (Nuclear Posture Review), NATO (Strategic Concept) and Russia (Military Doctrine). [32]

The end of the adversarial relationship with the Soviet Union (and later, the Russian Federation) had to be taken into account in the NPR. The current nuclear posture is evolving in a manner parallel to the modernization of the U.S. non-nuclear military establishment. [10] An observation was made that a number of gray areas in the TPNW text exist that raise concerns not just among U.S. allies but also for NATO policy and the policies of a number of nations directly impacted by North Korea?s increased nuclear and missile capabilities. [11]

Coping with the threat of Soviet military power required a specialized nuclear posture in the 20th century. [10] The Soviet nuclear buildup was a response to that of the United States. [14] It investigates the role of the atomic bomb in making impossible the postwar cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union, and evaluates the role of nuclear fear in invalidating the Soviet’s Marxism-Leninism ideology. [9]

The hope at the time was that the two nuclear superpowers would pursue a follow-on treaty and at one point Obama suggested he might reduce the U.S. arsenal unilaterally by another third. [12] Dealing with this movement toward a ban treaty will be among the most interesting and important issues facing the Trump administration and key U.S. allies in Europe and Asia, who live under the U.S. nuclear security umbrella. [32] These developments raise the question of what changes in the U.S. nuclear posture have been fostered by radical changes in the international security environment. [10] The U.S. nuclear policy towards China has long since ceased to fit either description. [15] The event, which was held under the Chatham House rule, began with a historical overview of U.S. nuclear policy assessing elements of continuity. [11] Where does this leave us today? It was suggested that U.S. nuclear policy has experienced two phases and is now transitioning into a third phase. [11] Lacking a coherent and compelling rationale for U.S. nuclear strategy and policy, Congress has been unwilling to fund some Bush Administration requests for new nuclear refurbishment efforts (both stockpile and infrastructure). [33]

Apparently intended to terminate a war before it gets much worse, this could indicate a dangerous lowering of the nuclear threshold. [32] For the British it was the desire, in Prime Minister Macmillan’s words, to continue to “eat at the top table,” to participate in U.S. military, particularly nuclear, decision-making as an equal. [14] The structure, but not the detailed content, of the future U.S. nuclear posture was expressed in the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which established a significant doctrinal shift from deterrence to a more complex approach to addressing the problem of proliferated WMD. [10] To address 21st century nuclear threats, and growing challenges to sustaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent, the next administration should build a package of nuclear initiatives that can attract broad support both at home and abroad. [33] China never approached the United States in nuclear might, but the American government did make implicit nuclear threats against Beijing. [15] How long until midnight? Intelligence-policy relations and the United States response to the Israeli nuclear program, 1959-1985. [16]

Beyond the three other states acknowledging the possession of nuclear weapons-China, France and the United Kingdom-there are four or five states that either have some current nuclear capability or are on the threshold of achieving it. [14] In 2015, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Special Envoy Grigory Berdennikov stated, “The entire system of mutual relations in the nuclear sphere is based on deterrence. [32] The ability to limit damage from a nuclear attack in the event that deterrence failed was denied by treaty from 1972 to 2002. [10] Deterrence was strongest in Europe, the heart of the conflict between the two nuclear superpowers and the site of each side?s largest military deployments. [15]

U.S. Department of Defense, “Nuclear Posture Review Report,” April 2010, [32] A more recent emerging threat is that a rogue group could hack into a nuclear power?s command and control computers, triggering a launch, or into an early warning system, giving the impression an enemy attack is imminent. [12] The study simply notes that at those levels the outcomes of nuclear exchange calculations become quite sensitive to specific details of force posture assumptions. [14] Others maintain that the nuclear “balance of terror”–a phrase heard during the Cold War–has never been effective or morally acceptable and must be eliminated immediately. [32] Perhaps more than any other single action, a comprehensive test-ban treaty would signal both domestically and internationally the rejection of nuclear weaponry as a basis for security. [14] Confidence placed in the inspection provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), for example, obscured efforts to obtain knowledge of clandestine WMD programs. [10]

Ironically, this has tended to support the view that the West’s nuclear posture over 40 years of rivalry with the Soviet Union actually had a stabilizing effect. [10] At that time, North Korea and China had no nuclear capability, and the Soviet Union only a negligible one. [14]

“The ambassador of the Russian Foreign Ministry: We are concerned about the situation with the nuclear facilities in Ukraine,” RIA Novosti, February 18, 2015 (in Russian). [32] The Senate decisively rejected a permanent ban on nuclear testing in 1999, reversing a policy in place since 1992. [10] Clearly, this policy vacuum regarding our nuclear deterrent must be addressed alongside our efforts to prevent further nuclear proliferation. [33]

Such use could lead to a general nuclear exchange, which would have even worse consequences than the scenario studied. [32] This thinking led to the Nuclear Security Summit process which commenced in 2010 with the last summit being held in 2016. [11] However its nuclear capability is the ultimate security guarantee. [14]

None of this would be true for the nuclear ban treaty as currently envisioned. [32] It starts with a nuclear blast obliterating a column of cars stuck on a highway as panicked people rush to try to evade the attack spreads. [12] It is probably no accident that those countries most disruptive to the nuclear order have been those most isolated and lacking in allies and protectors, due to geography, misfortune, or their own misguided policies, for example North Korea and Iran. [32] Seventy years into the nuclear age, something revolutionary is about to occur. [32] Nor were Egypt and Syria deterred in 1973 from attacking Israel, which at the time had at least a “screwdriver-away” nuclear capability; or Argentina from seizing the British Falklands in 1982. [14] This new understanding was essentially an extension of the understandings about nuclear winter because many aspects of these findings had been known for some time. [32]

The new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which President Donald Trump requested in a January 27 executive order, could be a major vehicle for addressing these issues. [32] This will be an attempt to overturn what has been a central tenet of every U.S. administration since that of President Harry Truman, that nuclear deterrence is fundamental to international peace and security, at least until a safe, effective, and verifiable way to eliminate these weapons can be found. [32] The administration sought to transform U.S. military capabilities to serve national policy in an environment where emerging threats would not provide warning to governments in enough time for them to replace their inventory with weapons systems suitable to the new threat. [10] The former is already seriously outgunned by India with conventional weapons, and the latter faces the near certainty of being so some years hence by the Arab states, which together have many times Israel’s population, much higher birth rates and oil wealth to boot. [14] Profound ideological antipathy and demonization of the other side, the lag between the decision to build new weapons and their deployment, worst-case analyses, Soviet secrecy and successful Soviet bluffs about the size and capability of their forces, and American belief in the possibility of sustaining technological superiority-all were factors in keeping the process going. [14]

Modern information technology lets the military change the characteristics of its flexible weapons and forces in much less time than it would take to develop whole new weapons systems. [10] Chemical weapons went from being considered an essential part of the U.S. deterrence arsenal to being considered useless and dangerous. [32] Today, the poorest nations on earth (such as North Korea and Pakistan) have found WMD to be the most attractive course available to meet their security needs. Proliferation of WMD was stimulated as an unintended consequence of a U.S. failure to invest in technologies such as ballistic missile defense that could have dissuaded nations from investing in such weapons. [10]

Initially, only the United States possessed atomic weapons, but in 1949 the Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb and the arms race began. [34] In 1952, the United States tested a new and more powerful weapon: the hydrogen bomb. [34] Hydrogen bomb is the colloquial term for a thermonuclear weapon, a second-generation bomb design with vastly more explosive power than a simple fission warhead. [12] All strategic weapons in modern arsenals are now thermonuclear, or hydrogen, bombs. [12] The military juntas in both Argentina and Brazil pursued covert weapons programmes, although they stopped short of making a bomb, and the two countries gave up their programmes in the early nineties and joined the NPT. [12] Effective deterrence, however, rests on the credible threat to actually use such weapons, at least in extreme circumstances. [32] First is the simple calculation that reducing the number and variety of weapons and the geographic breadth of their deployment reduces the probability of their accidental or unauthorized use. [14] This creates the dilemma in which leaders proclaim that such weapons cannot and must not be used, but this policy itself rests on the possibility of such use. [32] As for the Soviet Union and China, it is implausible that either could use such weapons effectively to deal with its internal problems. [14] The memory of the enormous toll of death and destruction in Europe wrought by conventional weapons in World War II may have been daunting enough to both the European members of NATO and the Soviet Union to maintain the peace. [14]

Unlike states, such groups cannot be deterred from using a weapon as the perpetrator could be very hard to identify in the wake of a blast, difficult to find, and ready to accept death as the price of inflicting devastating damage. [12] These weapons have not prevented non-nuclear-weapon states from attacking and provoking nuclear-weapon states, nor did they eliminate regional conflicts among non-nuclear-weapon states. [32] Though this option has been maintained throughout the NPRs, it was noted that the United States has not invested in new weapons designs or prototypes to date, although the three NPRs safeguard the right to test such weapons. [11] Similarly the United States can dispense with modernizing the remaining weapons. [14] The United States has some weapons in its stockpile that are overly susceptible to accidental detonation, and some experts claim that further testing is required so that these faulty systems can be replaced with new, safer weapons. [14]

The terrorist threat makes it desirable to make weapons even safer and less vulnerable to unauthorized use, while always performing in a predictable and reliable manner, even in uses not contemplated when the weapons were designed. [10] The eight legacy weapons were designed for a specific set of military applications in support of a policy to deter a well-understood adversary. [10] In response to the Senate rejection of the treaty, the Bush administration adopted a conditional readiness policy to resume testing if required, and new statutory authority has been granted to develop new weapon designs. [10] All the purposes that these weapons can conceivably serve could be met by forces no more, and perhaps less, than one-twentieth their current size. [14]

A French diplomat, writing in 1999, observed that even after Brezhnev?s declaration, “military records of the Warsaw Pact that fell into German hands demonstrated beyond doubt that Russian operational plans called for the use of nuclear and chemical weapons in Germany at the onset of hostilities, even if NATO forces were using only conventional weapons.” [18] Proponents of a U.S. NFU declaration have argued that not only does the United States already maintain a de facto NFU policy but that U.S. superiority in conventional weapons is sufficient to deter significant nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional threats. [18] Current U.S. counter-proliferation programs include improved security for the stewardship of nuclear material and weapons stockpiles and multilateral efforts to control international trade in nuclear-weapons-associated technology, expertise and information. [21] Nuclear bombs have a strange quality: They are a type of weapon that countries spend enormous sums of money to develop but don’t actually intend to use. [22] Each of these states–China, France, India, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States–has conveyed through official statements and documents a certain declaratory nuclear policy, detailing the conditions under which they might use these weapons. [18] All three countries signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and returned the weapons to Russia by the mid-1990s to be dismantled. [22] The public summary of India?s final nuclear doctrine, released in 2003, says that “in the event of a major attack against India, or Indian forces anywhere, by biological or chemical weapons, India will retain the option of retaliating with nuclear weapons.” [18] Pledges to only use these weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack–or a no-first-use (NFU) policy–are rare. [18] South Korea and Taiwan have advanced civilian nuclear programs and technical knowledge that could be redirected into a weapons program. [22] The second aspect is the three delivery systems that comprise the nuclear “triad”: land-based missiles (usually ballistic missiles but sometimes also cruise missiles), submarine-launched missiles (SLBMs), and weapons carried by aircraft (usually bombers but sometimes air-to-surface cruise missiles loaded on fighters or fighter-bombers). [22] J. Llewellyn et al, “Nuclear weapons”, Alpha History, accessed, [19]

The five declared nuclear powers will each wish to keep some weapons as long as any of the others do. [14] The current stockpile incorporates two weapon designs for each of four types of delivery platforms (ICBM, SLBM, bomber, and cruise missile). [10] The reductions and other constraints in these agreements were focused on launchers, missiles, bombers, and the weapons deployed on them. [32]

At any level of effort devoted to ensuring the central control and security of deployed weapons, the fewer there are, the less the probability of failure. [14] The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) has become a metaphor for 21st-century security concerns. [10] The chapter also considers how the mutual assured destruction pushed the superpowers away from direct military confrontation and into senseless weapon overproduction at home. [9] The argument contends that a country with very few weapons would be forced to aim them at cities and civilians in order to achieve meaningful deterrence. [32] New designs that could be used on a number of different platforms could reduce the cost and the number of weapons that would have to be stockpiled. [10] The NPR focuses on the limitations of applying weapons designed for the assured-destruction mission against the former Soviet Union to a much less predictable range of future adversaries and targets. [10] The development of a manufacturing complex that could create new designs (or modify existing ones) and manufacture weapons in the quantities needed when the threat emerges is more appropriate to 21st-century conditions. [10] This makes the traditional path to modernization through investment in weapons systems as the threat emerges economically infeasible. [10] The Indians, however, declared their test a “peaceful explosion,” and denied that they had or wished to have weapons. [14] Readiness to test new weapon designs, design modifications, or manufacturing process changes. [10] The need to preemptively target WMD capabilities is driven by the nature of these weapon systems. [10] Other countries followed the same path, banning and eliminating this entire class of weapons in the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). [32] The Stockpile Stewardship Program is developing a set of diagnostic and experimental facilities that will keep these eight weapons in the inventory indefinitely without sacrificing weapon safety and reliability. [10] The need to support the Stockpile Stewardship Program in the face of requirements for preserving eight weapon types without explosive testing still required a large complex. [10]

These may also help reduce the cost and compress the time required to create new weapon designs or modify existing ones. [10] Stockpile weapons are designed and optimized for a specific delivery system, and this was especially true for tactical aircraft. [10]

It is in America’s deepest interest, even in the short run, to continue on the path of delegitimizing war and the unilateral use of military force in relations among states, and to lead the way to worldwide acceptance of this view. [14] Many of the changes involved violence: colonial revolts and guerrilla wars against the European powers, civil wars or less organized civil violence within new states and conflicts among them as well. [14] The basic point remains and at bottom reflects the deeper moral difficulty of relying on war as an instrument of state policy. [14] Its more populous, heavily armed and deeply hostile neighboring states do not recognize its legitimacy and have remained in a state of war with Israel since its founding. [14] The world has lived with a similar immorality ever since Germany and then Britain and the United States relied on air attack of cities as a major instrument of war. [14] For 38 years the United States has been building ever larger arsenals to wage (or at least be prepared to wage) just such a war. [14]

With advancing technology, many of the tasks formerly assigned to nuclear forces can be performed by advanced, precision-guided conventional forces, including drones in some cases. 22 One should be cautious in drawing conclusions about whether this emerging capability would be more effective in preventing wars among these powers than the current situation. [32] Still others worry about making the world safe for conventional war if the restraint provided by nuclear deterrence is removed. [32]

The 2010 NPR outlined four main aspects: (1) a deeper partnership with Russia and the goal of achieving more reductions in US/Russian nuclear arsenals; (2) a deeper relationship with China and a focus on dialogue and strategic stability; (3) the roll back of the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programmes; and (4) working with U.S. allies to reduce the role of nuclear deterrence and shift reliance to more conventional means. [11] From 1965 to 1980, although U.S. strategic nuclear forces far outnumbered those of the Soviets and were qualitatively superior in many ways, they were strategically equivalent. [14] If, as General Powell suggests, our only significant enemies are now North Korea and Cuba, we have no immediate military need for strategic nuclear forces for deterrence beyond that required for deterrence of nuclear attack by other nuclear powers. [14] For the purpose of deterrence, the United States assembled a large nuclear arsenal to guarantee the “assured destruction” of the Soviet Union in the event of a Soviet attack and to avoid any political disadvantage that numerically inferior forces might impose. [15] The five nuclear-weapon states recognized in the NPT (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) each endorse the concept of nuclear deterrence and use this as justification for having such forces. [32] The second phase viewed rogue states as the main concern of potential nuclear deterrence and stressed the importance of nuclear arms control, especially bilateral nuclear arms control between the United States and Russia. [11] In years of bilateral arms control discussions, U.S. experts had some success in persuading their counterparts to adopt their views of nuclear deterrence. [32]

A significant number of countries will join the treaty, but no nuclear-weapon states, NATO members, or states under formal extended nuclear deterrence arrangements will join although some segments of society in these states will be sympathetic to it. [32] This has led to questioning the foundations on which nuclear deterrence is based, along with a serious uprising by a large number of non-nuclear-weapon states calling for a legally binding instrument prohibiting such weapons–a ban treaty. [32]

Nuclear deterrence was now the organizing principle of U.S. national security policy. [16]

The Russian doctrinal adaptation to the post-Cold War security environment is somewhat more opaque. [10] Until now Israel has relied successfully on its conventional forces in four wars. [14] The second NPR differed from its predecessor in its view on relations with Russia and China, moving away from competition and risk of war among powers to a focus on common interest and common values against the so called “axis of evil.” [11] Relations between the Soviet Union and the Western powers grew steadily worse in the five years after World War II. The hydrogen bomb, which uses a fission bomb to ignite thermonuclear fuel, marked a new and extremely important stage in the nuclear-arms race. [16] So we cannot emphasize too strongly the importance of seizing the moment-certainly the best opportunity since World War II-to work on reducing motivations for the use of force to deal with the world’s problems, to try to realize the promise of the U.N. charter and to establish an international rule of law. [14]

During World War II, three countries decided to build the atomic bomb: Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. [16] Not long after World War II ended in 1945, new hostilities emerged between the United States and the Soviet Union. [34]

During the Cuban missile crisis, it is clear that Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev were very much aware of the danger of nuclear war and that this had a powerful restraining effect on them. [32] We earlier noted President Truman’s statement that nuclear war could not be a possible policy for a rational man. [14]

The interactions among strategic and tactical nuclear forces, conventional forces, civil defense, and active defense have contributed to and sometimes complicated efforts to design a coherent and effective policy. [32] The review focused largely on what the U.S. should do with its nuclear forces resulting in a strategy of “lead but hedge”: the U.S. should lead in the reduction of nuclear arsenals and cooperate with partners on threat reduction, but hedge should the nuclear landscape take a turn for the worst. [11] The controversies about the “neutron bomb,” intermediate-range nuclear forces and futile American efforts to get the Europeans to increase their conventional forces and defense expenditures. [14]

Such a strike would put at risk not only the citizens of the nuclear powers involved but millions of citizens of even distant nonbelligerent states affected by the fallout of radiation, as Chernobyl made clear. [14] This too will require the involvement in the disarmament process of all the nuclear powers, not just the United States and the Soviet Union. [14]

The third phase views the North Korean programme with increased uneasiness, and calls into question the role of arms control given the souring relationship between the United States and Russia today. [11] Some non-nuclear-weapon states that oppose a ban treaty might play an important role in this process. [32] By developing a military capability that holds a proliferator’s entire WMD posture at risk rather than relying solely on the ability to deter the threat or use of WMD after they have been developed, produced, and deployed, the prospects for reducing the role of WMD in international politics are much improved. [10] The Soviet navy has only one such vessel, and it does not play a central role in Soviet naval strategy. [14]

In an about face, in 1962, the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles to Cuba in order to try to force U.S. concessions on Europe became another example of atomic diplomacy. [37] In the 1950s, “Kim Il Sung began working to amass an arsenal potent enough to deter a feared U.S. attack,” even after a 1953 ceasefire ended the Korean War, according to TIME’s Jan. 13, 2003, cover story on North Korean nuclear ambitions. [36] China has been able to maintain its NFU pledge because it has invested so heavily in conventional military modernization, making it unlikely that it would consider nuclear escalation in a conventional war. [18]

Even states with significant conventional military forces, such as the United States, consider it necessary to retain nuclear first use as an option. [18] A nuclear first-use policy was thought to be a cornerstone of the defensive posture of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), given the large number of bases of Warsaw Pact conventional military forces. [18]

This doctrine rested on the assumption the threat of instant and large-scale nuclear reprisals would serve as an effective deterrent to conventional war. [21] Iraq’s nuclear program was forcibly dismantled after the Gulf War, and Libya voluntarily gave up its secret nuclear program in 2003 under the direction of Moammar Gadhafi. [22] In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower considered, but ultimately rejected the idea of using nuclear coercion to further negotiations on the cease fire agreement that ended the war in Korea. [37]

During the Berlin Blockade of 1948-49, President Truman transferred several B-29 bombers capable of delivering nuclear bombs to the region to signal to the Soviet Union that the United States was both capable of implementing a nuclear attack and willing to execute it if it became necessary. [37] When the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, the United States had mass-produced some 70,000 nuclear bombs and warheads. [20]

Though it inspired greater confidence in the immediate postwar years, the U.S. nuclear monopoly was not of long duration; the Soviet Union successfully exploded its first atomic bomb in 1949, the United Kingdom in 1952, France in 1960 and the People?s Republic of China in 1964. [37] Some U.S. policymakers hoped that the U.S. monopoly on nuclear technology and the demonstration of its destructive power in Japan might influence the Soviets to make concessions, either in Asia or in Europe. [37] As Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association has argued, “a clear U.S. no-first-use policy would reduce the risk of Russian or Chinese nuclear miscalculation during a crisis by alleviating concerns about a devastating U.S. nuclear first-strike.” [18] The Soviet atomic tests of the early 1950s heralded the beginning of a nuclear arms race. [19] It was common knowledge that American and Soviet nuclear firepower was capable of utterly destroying the other and if one launched a nuclear attack, the other would detect it and respond with a nuclear attack of similar force. [19] On the other side, Soviet orders determined that any nuclear attack on its forces would legitimise a full-scale nuclear response. [19]

North Korea?s intercontinental-range ballistic missiles would not be used first but would deter retaliatory nuclear use or an invasion by the United States against its territory. [18] North Korea has not ruled out nuclear first use to deter a preemptive strike or invasion by the United States and its allies. [18]

France pioneered the concept of a prestrategic strike for a conventional invasion, threatening limited nuclear first use as a way to signal that it was contemplating escalation to the strategic nuclear level. [18] These simulations became credible in arms limitations negotiations and were the basis of a series of nuclear agreements between the United States and the USSR that did reduce the number of deployed long-range (strategic) delivery vehicles. [21] The third aspect is the large portion of global nuclear arms held by the United States and Russia. [22]

Each nuclear country has a different mix of delivery capabilities, but only the Uni ted States and Russia are known to definitively possess a full triad, while China and India are suspected to have it. [22] Germany is a highly industrialized state with civilian nuclear capabilities. [22] Some states have retreated from the nuclear brink: South Africa, all the states of the former Soviet Union, and potentially Iran, which has agreed to postpone but not abandon the nuclear option. [21]

After the first successful test of the atomic bomb in 1945, U.S. officials immediately considered the potential non-military benefits that could be derived from the American nuclear monopoly. [37] Its mission became clear at the end of World War II. Hanford had produced plutonium for the first nuclear test in the New Mexico desert in July 1945, and for the bomb that incinerated Nagasaki on Aug. 9. [20] In the years that immediately followed the Second World War, the U.S. confidence in its nuclear monopoly had ramifications for its diplomatic agenda. [37]

The Soviets initiated their own nuclear program almost three years before the bombing of Hiroshima. [19] The world’s eyes are now set on North Korea for this reason: The United States is in the process of deciding whether recent developments in North Korea’s nuclear program have crossed this boundary and, if they have, what force constitutes an appropriate response. [22] It is a poor country whose nuclear program has allowed it to punch above its weight internationally and force superpowers to approach it with great caution. [22]

In 1963, TIME reported that North Korea was one of the only countries that had announced that they would not sign the nuclear test-ban treaty that was President John F. Kennedy’s attempt to “get the genie back in the bottle” and slow the global nuclear arms race by banning testing in the atmosphere, in space and underwater. [36] The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, under the administration of President Donald J. Trump, retains the option of nuclear first use. [18] The risk of Soviet intervention posed by these troops in the ’70s was one of the main reasons South Africa developed nuclear capability in the first place. [22] By tracking intentional emissions from Hanford, scientists learned better how to spot Soviet nuclear tests. [20]

Atomic diplomacy refers to attempts to use the threat of nuclear warfare to achieve diplomatic goals. [37] Where these pledges have been made by nuclear states, their adversaries generally consider them not credible. [18] Policy concerns shift to counter proliferation: detecting, deterring and destroying efforts of rogue nations and terrorist groups to acquire nuclear devices, bomb usable materials, such as highly enriched uranium and plutonium, and radiological substances. [21] Global concern over North Korean nuclear capabilities has spiked again, as the nation appears to have fired four ballistic missiles that traveled about 1,000 km. (more than 600 miles) into waters near Tokyo on Monday morning, according to reports from the South Korean military and Japanese officials. [36]

The tools of stockpile stewardship allow the Laboratory to assess the safety, reliability, and performance of the Los Alamos-designed nuclear explosive packages in the B61 family of bombs and the W76, W78, and W88 warheads. [13] Washington’s nuclear experts must come to a consensus on the future of U.S. nuclear deterrent architecture. [21] British and French fears that the U.S. would not make good on its nuclear guarantee led to proliferation in Europe. [22]

While this has held constant since China?s first nuclear test, there is a debate today in the country over the continuing advisability of an NFU posture. [18] In its 1999 draft nuclear doctrine, India announced that it “will not be the first to initiate a nuclear strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail.” [18]

Access to these plans meant the design and development of Soviet nuclear technology could be fast-tracked. [19] Some releases supported an effort to monitor Soviet nuclear progress. [20]

For a more recent example, consider the case of North Korea, which has received a lot of attention in the last week due to a recent missile test and the expectation of another nuclear test. [22] The tests are merely the latest in a string of hair-raising launches, including a reportedly successful test in February of a new kind of nuclear-capable missile and actual nuclear tests in 2016. [36] This triad of launch platforms (aircraft, land-based missiles, and submarines) provides the President with the strongest, flexible, and most survivable nuclear deterrent. [13] After Roosevelt?s death, President Harry Truman had to decide whether to continue this policy of guarding nuclear information. [37]

A nuclear Japan would threaten China’s desired hegemony in the region and force it to proceed with greater caution in its actions in the South China and East China seas. [22] In 1962 the Russians tested Tsar Bomba (‘king of bombs’), the largest nuclear device ever detonated. [19] In 1994, Congress established the science-based Stockpile Stewardship program, which combines advanced scientific and experimental capabilities with high-performance supercomputing to help scientists and engineers understand and resolve issues in the nation’s nuclear deterrent. [13] In 2015, the negotiations resulted in the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which saw Iran shelve its nuclear program for a set period of time in exchange for benefits including sanctions relief. [22] Note: While Iran appears to have discontinued its nuclear program in accordance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we chose to include it in the third map to discuss the geopolitical ramifications of an Iranian nuclear breakout. [22]

Islamabad has left the exact threshold for its nuclear use ambiguous. [18] The first American nuclear device, the ‘Gadget’, was test-fired in mid-July 1945. [19] Hanford?s ” B Reactor,” the world?s first large-scale nuclear reactor, is now part of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park. [20]

Just as there is general agreement on the ultimate goal of nuclear policy today, there is also consensus regarding the agenda of issues that require immediate attention. [21] Additional capabilities include the means to safely and securely ship, receive, handle, and store nuclear materials, as well as manage the wastes and residues produced by TA-55 operations. [13] The nation’s investment in the advanced scientific experimental, engineering, and computational capabilities at Los Alamos allows the Laboratory to confidently extend the service life of the nation’s nuclear deterrent without resorting to full-scale underground testing. [13] Over the half-century that followed, the subject of North Korean nuclear capabilities would go in and out of the headlines, but the story that began in the 1950s has not yet come to an end. [36]

The risk of a nuclear attack would increase if they were to fall into the hands of non-state actors that follow a different set of calculations that don’t necessarily take into account the defense of a predefined territory. [22] Proponents of MAD argued that launching a nuclear attack was akin to signing your own country’s death warrant, so this served as a deterrent to nuclear aggression. [19]

Nuclear deterrence has been under attack for some time on pragmatic and moral grounds. [32] This general view would hold that the remarkable fact that no major armed conflict has occurred among the major powers since 1945 is almost certainly due primarily to nuclear deterrence. [32] It would be difficult to sustain an argument that nuclear deterrence has not had a powerful restraining influence on the major powers. [32] It is likely that, within the next year or two, a majority of the world?s countries will declare in a legally binding document that they no longer accept nuclear deterrence as a valid concept in international relations. [32] The theory of nuclear deterrence was originally formulated in the years after World War II by such seminal thinkers as Bernard Brodie, Thomas Schelling, and Herman Kahn. [32] President Reagan expressed the same view when he said that a nuclear war could never be won and therefore must never be fought. [14]

The United States, however, still retains a large nuclear arsenal. [15] It is a better example than prolonged negotiations, which give the impression that the United States-which has had the most experience with them-continues to believe that nuclear forces offer such military and political advantage as to justify quibbling over the arcane details of force posture. [14] Although we have no quarrel with this estimate, nor with most of the other discussions of minimum deterrence in the last three decades, the size of the force required for the purpose depends on the size of others’ nuclear forces. [14] The other nuclear powers, however, made their initial commitments to develop nuclear forces in varying circumstances. [14] Simply getting on with reductions and foregoing modernization is at least as likely to have a salutary effect in inducing emulation, not only by the Soviet Union but by the other nuclear powers. [14] Low-enriched uranium, used in civilian nuclear power, is usually 3%-4% U-235. [12] The fissile isotopes used in nuclear warheads are U-235 and Pu-239. [12]

For their part, parties to a ban treaty would neither ask for nor receive extended nuclear deterrence. [32] Efforts to do this have been underway for some time. 5 If nuclear deterrence exists and is to be eliminated, it must be replaced by something at least as effective. [32]

In stark contrast to Cold Warera military planning, the 21st century is likely to be characterized by circumstances in which the adversary is not well known far in advance of a potential confrontation. [10] It is impossible, of course, to permanently rule out a requirement for the sort of area destruction that was the hallmark of Cold Warera deterrence. [10]

A second problem that must be considered in the arms control arena, as well as in defense planning, is the likely continuing trend of proliferation of both nuclear and other destructive weapons in rogue states – who could not hope to directly defeat the United States in a general conflict, but who might very well be prepared to use these weapons in an attempt to deter the U.S. from intervening in what they perceive to be their regional conflicts. [27] There are fears of a new arms race, with Russia developing tactical atomic weapons and the United States modernizing its nuclear capabilities. [26] I believe we can achieve the low-yield levels that are likely to be most appropriate for deterring wider threats, particularly if we are unable to design and test new weapons under a nuclear testing moratorium, by depending on the features inherent in many designs in the current U.S. stockpile. [27] Defense Threat Reduction Agency : Official U.S. combat support agency for countering weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and high yield explosive threats. [31] The U.S. has mostly gotten rid of these weapons and the Pentagon worries this could be viewed as an “exploitable gap” because the choice would be between a much-larger nuclear attack or a less-lethal attack with smaller weapons. [40] “This country possesses an extremely robust, highly credible nuclear deterrent that is capable of responding to any attack and defending our allies with decisive force,” said Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, adding the advanced weapons will “lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons.” [40] The report calls for the U.S. to add new low-yield weapons, which would allow for a limited nuclear strike. [40]

By mid-1945, however, only the United States had succeeded, and it used two atomic weapons on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to bring a rapid and conclusive end to the war with Japan. [37] Critics, meanwhile, have suggested that U.S. allies in East Asia and Europe alike would not accept a unilateral U.S. NFU declaration, because it could encourage adversaries to attack with conventional weapons or to use chemical, biological, or cyber weapons. [18] Truman mentioned the existence of a particularly destructive bomb to Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin at the Allied meeting at Potsdam, but he did not provide specifics about the weapon or its uses. [37] Scholars debate the extent to which Truman?s mention of the bomb at Potsdam and his use of the weapon in Japan represent atomic diplomacy. [37] Moscow opted for size rather than quantity, ordering a greater number of strategic weapons (high-yield nuclear warheads for use against enemy cities or installations) than tactical devices (small nuclear-tipped weapons for battlefield use). [19]

With the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada mired in controversy, there is still no final resting place for these materials, which will be dangerous for tens of thousands of years. [20] A successful diplomatic initiative slowed the pace at which advanced countries, such as France, Germany and Japan, were introducing spent fuel reprocessing and enrichment activities to the nuclear fuel cycle, because these activities would introduce weapons-usable material into commerce. [21] Local governments in both countries developed and advertised precautions and responses for a nuclear strike, such as air-raid sirens, public shelters and emergency procedures. [19]

South Korea and Taiwan had secret nuclear programs in the ’70s that were discovered by international intelligence. [22] In 2007, Israeli airstrikes took out Syria’s reactor, suspending the nuclear program indefinitely. [22] North Korea’s progress in its nuclear program could drive Japan to reconsider. [22]

Three factors contributed to these forfeitures: changes in geopolitical circumstances that decreased the need for nuclear deterrence, pressure from a major power that provided a guarantee under its own nuclear umbrella, and outside intervention that resulted in destruction of the weapons programs. [22] Those airmen and sailors who comprise the nuclear workforce, and who are asked to dedicate their lives in service of their mission, deserve a persuasive explanation as to why their unwavering stewardship of the U.S. nuclear arsenal will matter as long as these weapons exist in the world. [35]

The U.S. Department of Energy, which now operates the weapons complex and its cleanup program, is still working on that solution. [20] The reality is that if both superpowers, together with the lesser powers, continue on this mad spiralling arms race, building more and more atomic weapons, sooner or later they will be used. [19] These weapons are capable of enormous destructive power, thousands of times greater than that of conventional explosives. [19] These weapons generated heat, energy and destructive power that was unparalleled in human history. [19]

Sigma capabilities have been applied to a variety of weapons activities, including life extension programs for the W76 and B61. [13] By the early ’90s, both countries had given up their weapons programs and signed the NPT. [22] They also show how these weapons have reshaped the constraints that countries face in their geopolitical calculations. [22] The first is a distinction between deployed and reserve weapons. [22] LEPs also provide the opportunity to install enhanced safety and security features in existing weapons to meet today’sand the future’ssecurity environment. [13] It also is bound by international treaty not to pursue weapons development. [22] India maintains a declared NFU posture, with exceptions for chemical and biological weapons attacks. [18]

Although President Nixon briefly considered using the threat of the bomb to help bring about an end to the war in Vietnam, he realized that that there remained the threat that the Soviet Union would retaliate against the United States on behalf of North Vietnam and that both international and domestic public opinion would never accept the use of the bomb. [37] Over the last few years, many observers, including key Department of Defense officials, have commented on the need to better communicate to the nuclear personnel a more compelling rationale as to why the U.S. nuclear arsenal remains essential to the post-Cold War strategy of the United States and to the security of the American people. [35] U.S. officials did not debate at length whether to use the atomic bomb against Japan, but argued that it was a means to a faster end to the Pacific conflict that would ensure fewer conventional war casualties. [37] After the bombing of Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the U.S. remains the only nation to have used them in war. [19] During the Korean War, President Truman once again deployed the B-29s to signal U.S. resolve. [37]

By the time the United States was attempting to disengage from the war in Vietnam, however, the idea of atomic diplomacy had lost credibility. [37]

A 1979 report by the U.S. Government estimated that all-out war would kill 28%-88% of Americans and 22%-50% of Soviets (150-450 million people with today’s populations), but this was before the risk of nuclear winter was discovered in the 1980’s. [31] This monograph represents a prescriptive and judgmental examination of U.S. options for revising its nuclear strategy and force structure in the post-Cold War era. [41] After the war, Oppenheimer argued that atomic scientists working under the auspices of the United Nations should control the entire nuclear fuel cycle — including mines and nuclear plants in foreign nations — a proposal that was rejected immediately by the U.S., Britain, and the Soviet Union. [39] With the Chinese intervention, the United States confronted a hard truth: Threatening a nuclear attack would not be enough to win the war. [38]

We have been reduced to contemplating within each theater CINC’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) the particular targets that should be held at risk and then analyzing appropriate options for attacking them with various weapons systems – nuclear and nonnuclear. [27] Conventional armaments and forces will remain the backbone of U.S. defense forces, but the inherent threat to escalate to nuclear use can help to prevent conflicts from ever starting, can prevent their escalation, as well as bring these conflicts to a swift and certain end. [27] U.S. Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review : A legislatively-mandated review that establishes U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next five to ten years. [31]

For the first time it should be possible to minimize collateral damage (and insure against any compromise of design technology) by including technology that could harmlessly destroy any U.S. warhead without giving nuclear yield, if it had flown off course to the extent that it would fall outside preplanned delivery coordinates. [27] The Carnegie Corporation of New York also provides vital funding for opening the record of U.S. nuclear policies, especially in relation to the former Soviet Union and Russia today. [30]

Another new, reverse, role of external assistance that came to light in this period was the propensity of external actors – both state and non-state – in assisting Nth country nuclear programs to cross the nuclear threshold. [28] On Tuesday during his State of the Union address, the President called for a nuclear stockpile “so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.” [40]

Nth powers were expected to increasingly complicate deterrence policy for a number of reasons: the multiplicity of potential aggressors, the absence of any clear “rules of the game?, and the potential ramifications of a nuclear threat. [28] The global disarmament debate in the post-Cold War period was dominated by the nuclear “haves?/”have nots? dichotomy. [28] This group was asked to help develop a new terms of reference for nuclear strategy in the post-Cold War world. [27] The discovery in 1938 of how to release nuclear energy introduced a singularity into the human world — a deep new reality, a region where the old rules of war no longer applied. [39]

Dividing the strategic world and the corresponding force capabilities into two distinct parts – Capability One and Capability Two – opens up many avenues for thought, and we should thoroughly explore these new territories as we undertake the upcoming Nuclear Posture Review. [27] He allowed nine nuclear bombs with fissile cores to be transferred into Air Force custody and transported to Okinawa. [38]

For the first time since 1945, atomic bombs, complete but for the nuclear cores, were transferred to military custody. [38] Let me first stress that nuclear arms must never be thought of as a single cure-all for security concerns. [27]

I believe it will be important to make a part of our declaratory policy that the United States ultimate intent, should it ever have to unleash a nuclear attack against any aggressor, would be to threaten the survival of the regime leading that state. [27] The literature of scholarly articles and books on U.S. nuclear policy is not as copious as the primary sources, but abundant enough. [30] The issue of whether, and if so how, to consider the creation of nuclear alliances in that part of the world is a timely issue for the U.S. and others to contemplate. [27] Victims in the U.S. have received over $2 billion in compensation for radiation exposure that resulted from nuclear testing and uranium handling. [31]

Among other things, the nuclear state is committed to an unprecedented level of secrecy, and it is characterized by a top-down approach to decision-making. [31] For the developing world however, the question of “when? rather than “if? states were likely to go nuclear had become relevant. [28] For the latter, predictions often entertained domestic instability within states, the “mad ruler? scenario, lack of requisite technical sophistication, among others as characteristics that made the likelihood of an advertant or inadvertent nuclear catastrophe higher. [28]

The United States did have relations with Pretoria, had indeed assisted the civilian nuclear program, but evidently had no interest in allowing South Africa to conduct a nuclear test,” Redman said. [26] “Unless the United States and Russia cooperate, the problem is they could very quickly lose the initiative that they have held up till now in the nuclear proliferation sphere,” Redman said. [26]

In response to his frustrations, write Bird and Sherwin, “Oppenheimer tried to use his influence to put a damper on the government?s and the public?s growing expectations for all things nuclear” — including atomic energy, something Oppenheimer just three years earlier had said was critical for the “continuation of this industrial age.” [39] An obvious and also very effective approach to obtain low-yield devices would be to use dummy secondaries as a way of quickly achieving single-stage yields (primary-only yields) without having to modify the devices, or to repeat flight tests for the delivery systems, or to conduct additional nuclear testing. [27]

Under the Obama administration, the Pentagon had already planned to modernize the nation?s nuclear weaponry, which consists of missiles fired from land and sea and bombs from warplanes. [40] I believe that we will also want to consider possibilities for instantly determining impact coordinates and instant bomb damage assessment (BDA), through already-developed technology, in conjunction with the existing satellite-based nuclear explosion detection system. [27]

Rather than move to fossil fuels and nuclear, as rich nations had done, poor nations should instead use wood fuel more sustainably, recommends the report. [39] In the second period, with China having conducted its first nuclear test in 1964, the focus of the proliferation debate shifted abruptly to the developing world. [28] Given that advantage, and with defeat thick in the air as the difficult summer ended, people wondered why the United States would not take advantage of its nuclear singularity. [38] While in power, Holdren promoted solar and wind and cast aspersions on nuclear — in language very similar to that used by the IPCC. [39] There has been no clear policy in place – I can even say there has been a lack of clear thinking in place – regarding limited nuclear attacks. [27] Ever since, the inevitability of the spread of nuclear terrorism and that of a successful terrorist attack in the distant future have been taken for granted. [28] These issues must be better understood in contemplating nuclear attacks against a North Korea, an Iran, an Iraq, or even a China. [27]

External actors played the role of dampeners and, more recently, of collaborators in nuclear proliferation. [28]

They did, however, consider the role that the bomb?s impressive power could play in postwar U.S. relations with the Soviet Union. [37] By mid-1945, it was clear the Soviet Union would enter into the war in the Pacific and thereby be in a position to influence the postwar balance of power in the region. [37] In 1950, Chinese Communist troops rescued Kim’s forces from probable extinction at the hands of the U.S., but a war museum in Pyongyang gives the briefest mention of Chinese assistance. [36] TA-55 recently completed the manufacture of a limited number of “war reserve” quality pits for the Navy W88 Trident warhead. [13]

Someone must make the first move away from death and toward life I believe the Russian people are so frightened of nuclear war that they would heave a momentous sigh of relief and would want their own leaders to follow America’s moral initiative toward disarmament.” [19] Fears of nuclear war were expressed in art, poetry and song, from Barry McGuire’s 1965 Eve of Destruction to Sting’s 1985 Russians. [19]

The U.S. insistence on hegemony in the occupation and rehabilitation of Japan stemmed in part from the confidence of being the sole nuclear power and in part from what that nuclear power had gained: Japan?s total surrender to U.S. forces. [37] It is currently protected under the NATO nuclear umbrella by the U.S. and the European nuclear powers (France and the United Kingdom). [22]

By 1970 the U.S. had just under 4,000 nuclear warheads, almost half the amount from a decade before. [19] As the accuracy of delivery systems improved, fewer nuclear warheads were required to maintain a credible deterrence threat, leading to a decline in both countries’ arsenals. [22] By 1962, America had almost 7,000 nuclear warheads, in comparison to Soviet Russia’s 500 warheads. [19]

Under stated Chinese posture, the country would expect to first absorb a nuclear attack before using its own nuclear forces to retaliate. [18] Computer simulations defined the number and type of nuclear forces required to survive a “first strike,” with sufficient capability to impose unacceptable damage on an adversary in a retaliatory strike. [21]

The Soviet Union liberated Kim’s domain from the Japanese, yet North Korean textbooks barely mention the Russian role. [36]

There was the underlying fear that an atomic bombardment might not produce a decisive victory after allthat the nuclear deterrent would not deter. [38] Many of the improved guidance systems now being incorporated into a variety of modern conventional munitions could quite easily be applied to nuclear delivery vehicles. [27] Any nuclear battle plans without solid policy bases are certain to prove unsatisfactory, and the challenge for us today is to develop that sound policy foundation. [27] World Institute for Nuclear Security : Helps secure nuclear and radioactive materials from theft, unauthorized access, and sabotage. [31] The National Security Archive thanks the New-Land Foundation for the funding that supported creation of the Nuclear Vault. [30]

One year later, an enterprising Sierra Club activist preyed upon fears of fall-out to kill a nuclear plant in northern California. [39] Two years later, Holdren became an advocate of nuclear disarmament, low-energy living, and renewables. [39]

Some of these are hundreds of times more powerful than those that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they may be able to create a decade-long nuclear winter that could kill most people on Earth. [31] Nuclear deploys 12 times faster than solar and wind Hansen, et al. [39]

The future of the global nuclear landscape has received intense scrutiny since the dawn of the nuclear era over six decades ago. [28]

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38. (4) The Evolving U.S. Nuclear Narrative | Center for Strategic and International Studies

39. (4) U.S. Nuclear Strategy for the Post-Cold War Era | RAND

40. (3) Nuclear Revolution: A Product of the Cold War, or Something More? – Oxford Handbooks

41. (2) Nuclear Deterrence