Recently, President Obama called for large reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal from the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty levels, which could leave the U.S. with roughly 1,000 weapons. The President’s announcement has renewed the debate over the appropriate size of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.
Advocates of a Minimum Deterrence strategy applaud the move and view it as progress towards a nuclear-free world; skeptics maintain that deeply reduced force levels would leave the United States and its allies vulnerable and that Minimum Deterrence relies on unrealistic hopes and unreliable assumptions.
The National Institute for Public Policy’s report, Minimum Deterrence: Examining the Evidence, offers valuable insight into this debate and makes a compelling case that the Minimum Deterrence position builds on utopian hopes and is contrary to historic experience. It is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand U.S. nuclear forces policy and the proposals for reductions.
Our panel made a critical review of the report and discussed its implications for U.S. nuclear weapons policy.