Chapter 11—
Changing the Strategic Equation

Peter A. Wilson and Richard D. Sokolsky

The Bush administration has articulated a new paradigm for transforming U.S. strategic offensive and defensive forces to meet the demands of the 21st century security environment. It has also set out strategic principles to guide this transformation. In the spring of 2001, President George W. Bush stated, “We need new concepts of deterrence that rely on both offensive and defensive forces. Deterrence can no longer be based solely on the threat of nuclear retaliation.”1 On other occasions over the past 2 years, President Bush has emphasized that the United States needs a new strategic framework because Russia itself is no longer the enemy and the Cold War logic that led to the creation of massive stockpiles on both sides is now outdated. The President has stated that our mutual security need no longer depend on a nuclear balance of terror and that America should rethink the requirements for nuclear deterrence in a new security environment. The premises of Cold War nuclear targeting should no longer dictate the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

In early January 2002, the Bush administration issued the results of its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which laid out the direction for American nuclear forces over the next decade. One of the key features in this blueprint for transforming the U.S. strategic posture is the shift to a new triad of capabilities that includes strategic offensive capabilities, both nuclear and non-nuclear, defensive capabilities, and a robust nuclear weapons infrastructure. The NPR concludes that the addition of defenses, as well as non-nuclear strike forces, will allow the United States to reduce its dependence on offensive nuclear forces to maintain deterrence in the evolving strategic environment.

Making the transition to a world in which deterrence depends less on maintaining a “nuclear balance of terror” and more on some as-yet-undetermined mix of offensive and defensive deployments is a major geostrategic and technological challenge. Indeed, the profound changes in the character of the U.S.-Russian relationship and the broader geostrategic environment, as well as changes in military technologies, cast the issue of strategic force reductions and the deployment of missile defenses in an entirely new conceptual framework.

A further, perhaps even more profound, question is that of the evolution of our nuclear relationship with China, which, unlike Russia, is an emerging great power. What meaning and relevance do the concepts of nuclear deterrence, strategic stability, and mutual assured destruction have in this changing strategic landscape? What is the appropriate doctrine that should guide plans for the employment of nuclear weapons? What new standard or metric should guide decisions on the size and composition of U.S. strategic forces and missile defenses?2

The purpose of this chapter is to illuminate the relationship between these broader strategic policy challenges and the emerging issues of strategic defense and offense technologies. The first section sets these issues in the context of recent developments that have profoundly altered the strategic landscape, including the terrorist attacks of September 11, the U.S. response to these attacks, and the Bush administration decision to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The second section addresses the main technological issues and challenges associated with American plans to deploy missile defenses. The third section discusses U.S. strategic force planning in the new security environment. The fourth section looks at the impact of changes in American strategic policy on other key countries. The chapter ends with some observations about future directions for U.S. strategic policy.3

Strategic Shocks of Fall 2001

Since the Bush administration’s articulation of the very broad contours of this “new strategic framework,” the geostrategic environment has undergone several shocks during the late summer and fall of 2001. The well-conceived and -executed slow-motion strategic attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, was the first shock. As a result, our terminology about strategic warfare has changed. Now the United States is engaged in a global war against militant Islam with a revolutionary ideology, in the form of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda (“The Base”) terrorist organization. This international terrorist organization has demonstrated a sophisticated capacity to prepare a battlefield inside the United States. With the rapid collapse of both World Trade Center towers and other deaths in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon, the United States suffered the second-highest number of fatalities in a single day in its entire history—some 3,000 in 2 hours. Our vast nuclear deterrent posture stood mute and irrelevant to this form of strategic warfare, perpetrated by a globally diffuse opponent with unlimited war aims—the destruction of Western civilization—and undeterred by the threat of nuclear retaliation.

The United States then launched Operation Enduring Freedom, a global operation designed to “roll up” the Al Qaeda terrorist network and its primary nation-state host, an Afghanistan ruled by the Taliban, along with its religious and political allies. Although the Taliban regime was destroyed by late fall 2001, the Bush administration has acknowledged that the global war against Al Qaeda will be a long campaign, much of it fought in the shadows. A key feature of this protracted operation is the building of a wide global coalition that includes the Russian Federation and China. The former is absolutely vital; it has allowed the United States overflight rights and the basing of significant military assets in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, former states of the Soviet Union, to conduct operations inside Afghanistan. China also appears to be cooperating in the form of diplomatic support in the United Nations, economic assistance to Pakistan, and the sharing of information about Islamic terrorist organizations.

This act of hyperterrorism was followed by several additional major geostrategic events during the fall of 2001. Reflecting new political warmth between Washington and Moscow, Presidents Bush and Putin agreed during the November 2001 summit meeting in Crawford, Texas, to press ahead with major reductions of their countries’ strategic nuclear offensive forces. However, the two countries were unable to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement on the fate of the ABM Treaty, leading to the U.S. official withdrawal from the treaty on June 13, 2002.4

Review of Missile Defense Technologies

Unlike the Clinton administration, the Bush administration has decided to accelerate research and development (R&D) and to procure during this decade a full spectrum of active ballistic and cruise missile defenses without the constraints of the ABM Treaty. At the present time, the administration has not chosen the architecture of its deployment plans for ballistic missile defense (BMD), other than to acknowledge that the near-term requirement is to provide a missile defense against a small number of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) warheads. This is the so-called rogue state threat, a handful of first-generation ICBMs equipped with very primitive reentry vehicles and penetration aid technology. The possible elements of any “layered” BMD architecture are reviewed in this section. However, several ongoing programs recently have been canceled due to development and cost overrun problems, a reflection of the technological challenge of developing effective BMD.

Ballistic Missile Defense

The fundamental goal of the planned BMD system is to defend the forces and territories of the United States and of its allies and friends as soon as practicable. The integrated program under development is intended to counter the full spectrum of ballistic missile threats in all phases of flight using kinetic and directed energy kill mechanisms and a variety of land-, sea-, air-, and space-based deployment options.

Terminal (endo-atmospheric) or lower-tier systems

The first terminal BMD to become operational is the PAC-3 hit-to-kill (HTK) missile. The interceptor uses a microwave seeker and side-firing jets to maneuver to kill, by kinetic impact, short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. The sea-based counterpart was the Naval Area Defense (NAD) system, which consists of a standard missile with an upgraded fuse and warhead to destroy incoming short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) with a fragmentation effect. Due to cost overruns and significant schedule delays, this program was recently canceled.

Theater-wide (exo-atmospheric) or upper-tier systems

Theater-wide or upper-tier systems are the high-performance HTK systems, such as the Army Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and the Navy Mid-Course (formerly Navy Theater Wide) system. In late January 2002, the Navy reached an important milestone with the first successful test of the Navy Mid-Course HTK interceptor. Operating off the coast of a hostile state armed with very long-range, perhaps transoceanic-range, ballistic missiles, Navy Mid-Course may have marginal boost-phase intercept capability against slow rising liquid propellant multistage rockets.

Boost-phase BMD systems

The near-term boost-phase theater missile defense system is the airborne laser (ABL) being developed by the Air Force. Current plans are to arm a 747-400 series freighter aircraft with a carbon dioxide-iodine laser that can intercept SRBMs out to a range of several hundred nautical miles. This weapon is not a viable boost-phase weapon against any missile that is launched beyond the slant range of the laser. It may be possible to use the ABL against Pyongyang’s long-range missiles off the North Korean coast, but the Air Force will have to be able to suppress the threat that both long-range surface-to-air missiles and manned interceptors pose to the very vulnerable wide-body aircraft carrying the laser.

Land-based Midcourse

The Clinton administration proposed a land-based BMD designed to intercept a small number of ICBMs launched by a rogue state (North Korea is the state of most immediate concern). To conform as closely as possible to the ABM Treaty, the Clinton plan called for the deployment of only one site in Alaska equipped with 100 interceptors to deal with an emerging North Korean ICBM threat with an option to deploy an additional 100 interceptors in the continental United States.

Sea-based Midcourse

The Bush administration hopes that major progress beyond the Navy Mid-Course system is feasible. With a new interceptor rather than the lower performance standard missile, the midcourse BMD could provide an additional layer of defense if ships are placed in the North Pacific and Atlantic to intercept oncoming ICBMs from North Korea, Iraq, or Iran. Similar to the Navy Mid-Course system, the sea-based BMD would be equipped with an HTK capability and might have a boost-phase role as well.

Sea- and Land-based Boost-phase

A proposal has been made to base a very high-acceleration and long-range booster and HTK interceptor on board a new generation of BMD-capable warships. Such a system will be much more effective against long-range ballistic missiles that are based relatively near an oceanic coastline. To provide a defense against a very large country such as Iran, such a system would most likely have to be land-based in a neighboring country, which is no small diplomatic challenge.

Space-based Boost-phase

The Bush administration desires to test two variants of a space-based interceptor. The first is a space-based HTK system, a variant of the old “Brilliant Pebbles” concept. The second is a space-based laser system. Under the most optimistic circumstances, in particular a substantial increase in funding, the testing of both the space-based HTK and chemical laser systems is unlikely until later in the decade. The strategic consequence of this type of BMD architecture could be much more profound than the array of HTK systems described above (this point is discussed below).

Air Defense

The PAC (Patriot Advanced Capability)-3 lower-tier HTK system has some capability against cruise missiles. Additional air defense (AD) improvements are being explored, including the development of lower-frequency radars held aloft by aerostats (tethered, streamlined balloons), the joint land-attack cruise missile defense elevated netted sensor program, and the medium extended air defense system (MEADS). Upgrades to the various airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) are under way. The Navy’s E-2C and the Air Force E-3D are being reequipped with lower-frequency radars that are optimized to detect low-observable air targets, such as Tomahawk class cruise missiles. The Air Force is giving serious consideration to acquiring a next-generation AWACS using a larger B-767 class aircraft. The fleet of antiaircraft capable cruisers and destroyers equipped with the Aegis system are being upgraded with an antiballistic missile defense capability. Finally, the Navy and Air Force continue to modernize their fighter fleets with increasingly capable air-to-air missiles, such as the upgraded AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9X. All these air defense capabilities are likely to be given much greater emphasis after the September 2001 aerial attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Space Surveillance

Critical to the success of any wide-area or layered BMD is the deployment of a new generation of space-based sensors that can perform multiple functions, including missile tracking and the discrimination of warheads from space debris and decoys and other countermeasures. The most significant of this decade is the deployment of the space-based infrared sensor system (SBIRS)-High, operating at geosynchronous earth orbit to replace the Defense Support Program early-warning satellites. There were also plans to deploy a SBIRS-Low constellation, operating at a low Earth orbit, by the end of the decade. SBIRS-Low or its equivalent will be vitally important to provide early-track and warhead discrimination data on medium- and transoceanic-range missiles as they rise out of the atmosphere, so they can be intercepted by a wide array of aerospace defense systems. At the present time, SBIRS-High is suffering from a major cost overrun; its initial operational capability date is slipping by several years to the end of the decade. SBIRS-Low is in even in greater disarray: Congress has canceled this program, although funds remain to resurrect the program or to begin development of a replacement array of sensors. Without the equivalent of SBIRS-Low to provide post-launch tracking data, the effectiveness of the full array of terrestrially based BMD will be seriously compromised. One option is to deploy a fleet of high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as the Global Hawk, to carry infrared sensors to track missile payloads during their midcourse phase of flight.

Some Missile Defense Technology/Operational Issues

To achieve very high performance levels against small low-technology threats, several technologies will have to be mastered and several milestones met by mid-decade.

Hit-to-Kill Interceptors

A central feature of the U.S.-designed BMD systems is their heavy reliance on the development of HTK interceptors. Major advances in computer processing power, coupled with improved infrared sensors, appear plausible. However, the test experience of HTK is mixed. Development of the PAC-3 terminal defense interceptor has led to a success rate of better than 80 percent, while the more ambitious THAAD interceptor has had only two limited successes in four tries. Attempts to develop a high-performance HTK interceptor beyond THAAD have been troubled by recent test failures of a new-generation booster.

Countermeasure Resistance

The current generation of BMD interceptor tests involves the least demanding countermeasure threats, since the focus of these early tests was on the development of the basic weapon capability. An extensive testing program will have to be sustained over a number of years to develop both electro-optical sensors and high-frequency radars to allow BMD systems to defeat a wide array of exo-atmospheric decoys that rogue states might develop by the end of the decade. A critical variable that will influence the severity of the threat to U.S. aerospace defense systems will be the willingness of the Russian Federation and China to limit the transfer of countermeasure technology to states such as North Korea, Iran, and Iraq.

Resilience in a Nuclear-Disturbed Environment

Future opponents, especially the economically weaker rogues, may conclude that U.S. missile defenses can be defeated only by the use of nuclear weapons. A future opponent might choose to use a warhead that is “salvage fused” to detonate during collision with an HTK interceptor; the resultant high-altitude nuclear detonation could blind the terrestrially based BMD fire control radar. Depending upon the altitude of the nuclear detonation, effects could appear as scintillation in the ionosphere (“blackout”) or wide-area electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effects. If unprotected from the latter phenomenon, the electronics of terrestrially based BMD systems could fail catastrophically. To build BMD systems hardened against these effects will require a significant R&D and system design investment prior to production.

Dealing with Low Observable Cruise Missiles

By the end of the decade, Tomahawk class cruise missiles may be widely available to future U.S. opponents. Most worrisome is the prospect that one or more of these opponents will master the indigenous production of a modern V-1. This might be a cruise missile with a range of 1,000 kilometers and inherently low observable features, mass-produced in the hundreds or even thousands. The challenge to American and allied air defenses is to defeat a massed cruise missile attack that might be part of a structured attack involving the simultaneous use of theater ballistic missiles (TBMs). There are a variety of air defense programs designed to deal with that threat, but they may have to be hardened to nuclear weapon effects, especially the threat of high-altitude detonations that cause wide-area EMP effects.

With the American termination of the ABM Treaty, the Chinese are likely to become much more interested in cruise missiles. This interest will be further reinforced if the United States decides to deploy a space-based weapon segment of its BMD architecture. For example, China might make a major investment in a fleet of nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines (SSGNs) and conventionally powered submarines with air independent propulsion (AIP) to carry long-range submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). It might be much cheaper for the Chinese to develop such a fleet than to invest in a next generation of submarine-launched
(intercontinental) ballistic missiles (SLBMs). The Chinese might be prepared to maintain a small number of SLCM-armed SSGNs in the eastern Pacific, especially during times of severe tension with the United States, such as a political-military crisis involving Taiwan. This stratagem would be intended to divert substantial American naval assets to monitor this fleet, which, though small, could menace the West Coast of the United States. Further, there is the prospect that rogue states or possibly transnational terrorist organizations might be prepared to deploy civilian freighters as cruise-missile-armed “Q ships” to bypass the BMD deployed by 2010.

Would Space-Based BMD Disturb the Emerging Strategic Equilibrium?

Without the constraints of the ABM Treaty, the most significant future decision by the Bush administration on a future BMD architecture will be whether it has a space-based weapon component.5 An effort to accelerate development and deployment of a space-based interceptor array may cause Moscow to view this as a powerful sign that the United States has decided to deploy a BMD that is capable of defeating threats far more capable than those that might be possessed by rogue states. In contrast, a U.S. missile defense architecture that is terrestrially based and relies on HTK interceptor technology cannot credibly threaten the assured retaliation capabilities of a Russian ICBM force based deep inside Russia. After further buildup of its centrally based next-generation ICBMs, with or without multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), China may hold to a similar view.

On the other hand, the Bush administration may press ahead with a very robust space-based interceptor development program, with the intent of deploying either a version of the HTK-based Brilliant Pebbles concept or an array of very high-powered orbiting laser weapons by 2020. The Russians and Chinese may decide to tolerate the U.S. deployment of boost-phase systems that can intercept short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. However, a space-based BMD with a boost-phase capability will have the potential of negating ICBMs based deep inside Russia or China, thereby putting their assured retaliation capability at far greater risk. Both Moscow and Beijing are likely to press for some sort of regime of restraints on space-weapon testing and deployment. It is unclear at this time whether the Bush administration will accept any limits on space-weapon testing during the next decade or so.

Although an American decision to deploy a space-based BMD array might not trigger a classic Cold War-type arms race, it could encourage Russia and China to develop a far closer political and military strategic relationship. For example, Russia might be prepared to transfer advanced strategic offensive and defensive weapon technology to China just to maintain the overall strategic equilibrium with the United States. On the other hand, the Russian or Chinese response to a U.S. move to deploy space-based weapons might be muted if relations between Washington, Moscow, and Beijing are on a cooperative track.

These concerns suggest that there will be some major technological challenges for the American developers of aerospace defenses. As for the future of U.S. strategic nuclear offensive forces, the changes may be more profound doctrinally rather than technologically.

Future Direction of the U.S. Strategic Force Posture

The Bush administration deserves credit for articulating the intellectual rationale for fundamental changes in U.S. nuclear weapons policy. Both the doctrine and force structure that it inherited from its predecessor were anachronistic and thus in need of transformation. Reflecting this view, the new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) holds the promise of ending Cold War practices related to American strategic force planning and the prospect of a fundamental change in deterrence strategy. These changes includª significant revisions to U.S. nuclear warfighting plans and the development of a new triad of strategic forces that would include non-nuclear as well as nuclear forces.6 The NPR also breaks some important new ground, particularly in broadening the definition of strategic capabilities and focusing on capabilities-based planning.

Nonetheless, the results of the NPR to date reveal a gap between the rhetoric of strategic transformation and reality. Indeed, rather than making a clear break with the past, as was foreshadowed at the outset of the administration, what is striking about the changes in strategy and force structure announced in the NPR is their apparent perpetuation of the status quo. However, the NPR remains a work in progress, and DOD officials claim that no final decisions have been made on the important issues of the overall size of the active stockpile, the reserve of ready strategic warheads (called the hedge force by the Clinton administration but relabeled in NPR as the responsive force), or the inactive stockpile of weapons that are slated for destruction or in some disassembled form. Decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S.-Russian relations and for strategic force modernization, especially the need to develop new warheads with new capabilities.

The decision of the Bush administration to unilaterally reduce American strategic force levels to between 1,700 and 2,200 operationally deployed warheads broke the deadlock in the strategic arms control process, accomplishing in one bold stroke what years of arms control negotiations had failed to deliver. But these reductions are less sweeping than they appear. The force levels that are envisioned at the end of this decade are virtually the same as those agreed to by President William Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin in 1997. Moreover, only minimal changes are contemplated in the composition of U.S. strategic forces. In fact, at the end
of this decade, the mix of strategic missiles, bombers, and submarines comprising the American nuclear triad will not differ significantly from the force structure established by the Clinton administration’s 1994 Nuclear Posture Review.

A key issue raised in the NPR, and the one that has drawn considerable public attention and criticism, is the decision to store rather than destroy thousands of warheads that will be removed from strategic systems. The Bush administration, like its predecessor, has no plans to eliminate the capability of these platforms to be rapidly “uploaded” with these reserve warheads. This reconstitution capability of over 6,000 warheads is comparable to the one planned by the Clinton administration.

There is, to be sure, a legitimate argument for maintaining some type of reserve stockpile to sustain the active force, given worries about the mobilization capacity of the U.S. nuclear infrastructure, especially in production of plutonium pits and tritium. Still, if Russia is no longer our strategic enemy and the warhead requirements (as argued below) for dealing with China and rogue states are much more modest, there is no justification for maintaining thousands of warheads available for rapid uploading, particularly in light of the NPR acknowledgment that the new “responsive force capacity” is designed to deal with distant threats that may arise in the future but cannot be predicted.

Indeed, given the size and character of projected threats, the timelines in which they are likely to emerge, and the deterrent capabilities that the United States would need, the administration should be able to establish a new readiness system for strategic nuclear warheads (analogous to the readiness categories for Soviet and Warsaw Pact divisions during the Cold War) and to downsize significantly the number of warheads in the active (category one), responsive force (category two), and inactive (category three) stockpiles. If this approach were adopted, the category one force of warheads available for immediate use (or operationally deployed) would likely be far less than the planned 1,700-2,200 level; the category two stockpile of warheads (the hedge or responsive capacity) that could be uploaded within days or weeks would contain roughly the same number; and the category three stockpile of weapons that are in some disassembled form, designed to sustain the other stockpiles, may not need to exceed 1,000.

A valuable feature of the new NPR is the shift in nuclear planning from a threat-based approach, which sized and structured strategic forces to deal with the Soviet Union, to a capabilities-based approach, which relies on a broader mix of nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities to respond to a broader range of circumstances. In theory, this shift in emphasis in strategic force planning could be potentially significant if it leads to less dependence on nuclear weapons in national security policy. Whether it leads, in practice, to this outcome remains an open question in the NPR.

Administration officials have said that this new standard for sizing the nuclear posture takes into account multiple potential opponents over the next decade. However, it is hard to see how these possible opponents, which are projected to have a total of fewer than 200 nuclear weapons over the next decade, justify U.S. retention of 1,700 to 2,200 operationally deployed warheads and the much larger force being held in reserve for rapid uploading. Indeed, in its January 11 report to the Congress on the missile threat to the United States, the National Intelligence Council projected that China will deploy 75 to 100 strategic nuclear warheads by 2015; rogue states, such as North Korea, Iran, and Iraq, are unlikely to field no more than several dozen strategic nuclear weapons over the next decade.7 Even if one were to postulate American absorption of a limited first strike by one of these powers alone or in combination, they would not justify the NPR bottom line. After all, the survivability of the U.S. nuclear forces does not depend upon raw numbers; rather, it relies on secure forces such as SSBNs at sea, ICBMs in silos, and a robust command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) system.

It is even more difficult to justify NPR proposed force levels if one takes into account, as the NPR claims to have done, U.S. plans to build antimissile defenses and to develop long-range non-nuclear strike forces, such as those that were used successfully in the Balkans and Afghanistan, to perform missions previously associated with the use of nuclear weapons. Indeed, with the possible exception of hardened, deeply buried targets in rogue states, or other countries, there are very few key military, economic/industrial, or leadership targets that cannot be destroyed with non-nuclear capabilities. These other elements of American strategic power, if fully integrated into U.S. operational planning, should lead to substantial downsizing of our strategic nuclear forces beyond the reductions contemplated in the NPR.

The Bush administration may thus be missing an opportunity to adapt its nuclear strategy and forces to the new geopolitical and military/technological realities of the post-Cold War era. Put simply, it is hard to reconcile the NPR nuclear force posture with administration rhetoric that Russia is no longer our enemy and that we seek to build a partnership with Moscow. It is equally difficult to square NPR force levels with the
administration view that the United States cannot rely solely on the threat of massive nuclear retaliation to deter rogue states. If this is the case, for example, it should hardly matter whether America maintains the capability to attack these countries quickly with 500 or 1,700 nuclear warheads; an attack of either magnitude would be sufficient to destroy any of these countries as functioning societies. After all, the Al Qaeda strategic attack on the United States was not deterred by the presence of the current nuclear arsenal.

The need to retain the capability to execute massive, preplanned, damage-limiting first strikes against Russia should no longer be the benchmark for determining American strategic force requirements. Instead, strategic forces should be sized and structured primarily to deter or defend against the use of weapons of mass destruction by smaller powers. The role and utility of nuclear weapons in confronting these types of threats, while important, is limited. A low number of nuclear weapons are needed to meet the requirements of deterrence and defense. Strategically and operationally, the number of targets that the United States would need to hold at risk in any conceivable combination of rogue countries (in military parlance, the target set) is relatively small by Cold War standards and can probably be met with approximately 1,000-1,500 deployed warheads at the most.

If the United States is to move to a strategic posture of 1,700 operationally deployed warheads or to consider further reductions, it will need to make a major revision of its nuclear force posture planning process. A key test will be whether the stylized Single Integrated Operation Plan (SIOP) process, controlled by the United States Strategic Command (U.S. STRATCOM), is drastically overhauled or abolished. Currently, the assured retaliation requirements of the strategic forces are dominated by the need to hold several thousand targets in the Russian Federation at risk. To go to an operational posture of 1,700 strategic warheads suggests that a new set of force planning requirements is needed.

For example, a new type of assured retaliation capability could emerge from a new set of strategic nuclear planning requirements. The assured retaliation requirements of the United States might be formulated according to the following principles: First, the United States needs only to be able to hold several hundred targets, say 500, at risk anywhere on the planet with 100 percent certainty. The location and character of these targets would not be specified before the fact. In essence, a limited nuclear operation would be planned on a contingency basis, similar to that of a theater-wide air tasking order. Unlike the rigid definition of an assured destruction requirement for Russia or China, the assured retaliation requirement might become more flexible and more contingent on the state of the geostrategic environment. Second, the U.S. assured retaliation requirement could drop substantially against the Russian Federation, while it might remain much higher vis-à-vis China.

Instead of preserving the SIOP, U.S. STRATCOM would be charged to develop the capacity to provide dynamic and near-real-time nuclear weapon targeting. A nuclear weapon contingency planning capability could be created. The United States could declare that it has an “all-azimuth nuclear assured retaliation capability.” Within that broad guidance, there are a number of important planning issues. For example, should every component of the smaller inventory of weapons be able to attack the full range of possible targets, or should the nuclear arsenal instead include a range of weapon capabilities? This is the issue of the inherent targeting flexibility of a significantly smaller nuclear offensive posture. Second, should the 1,700 remaining nuclear weapons have a “dial-a-yield” capability to give the Secretary of Defense and U.S. STRATCOM planners the maximum flexibility in designing a near-real-time nuclear targeting capability? An additional deterrence or counterforce requirement is that some or all of the nuclear weapons should have earth-penetrating warheads. Should a selected subset of the arsenal be so designed, or is there a requirement for a universal bomb design?

If the answer to either question calls for new types of bombs, then a more convincing case can be made that the United States should seriously reconsider its commitment to a moratorium on underground testing (agreed in 1993), while the fate of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) or any other nuclear test restraint regime is decided. The development of lower-yield weapons with simpler and more rugged designs would reduce both collateral damage and the burdens of maintaining the current nuclear weapons infrastructure. Whether the United States would have to resume nuclear testing to obtain these benefits is a matter of debate and disagreement among nuclear weapons experts and will depend to some degree on whether the planned nuclear stockpile is scaled back beyond the current NPR plan. A resumption of nuclear testing, however, would carry significant diplomatic and political costs as well as undermine the global nonproliferation regime. In response to new U.S. nuclear testing, for example, Russia and China would probably end their testing moratoria to develop more advanced nuclear warheads; India and Pakistan might also follow suit under the cover provided by an end to the global testing moratorium. These costs would have to be weighed against the military, operational, and technical benefits of nuclear testing.

Finally, there is the requirement that the smaller nuclear forces be able to penetrate emerging aerospace defenses without reliance on a brute force strategy that depends on the continued deployment of very high numbers of operational nuclear weapons and the maintenance of a very large responsive force. Given its high cost and demanding military technological requirements, it is unlikely that either the Russian Federation or China will deploy any significant ballistic missile defense based upon hit-to-kill interceptor technology. More plausible is the prospect that the Russian Federation will maintain a BMD focused on the defense of the Moscow region with nuclear-armed interceptors. It is conceivable that China may acquire a limited BMD capability through the upgrade of its S-300/400 class high-altitude surface-to-air missile systems. China might attempt to upgrade these assets with the development of nuclear-armed interceptors.

One critical problem for any nuclear-armed exo-atmospheric BMD is that the first use of nuclear-armed interceptors can blind the defender’s battle management radars, due to a phenomenon known as blackout. The defensive interceptor’s nuclear detonation does the work of the offensive by blinding ground-based radars. One alternative is to develop an infrared telescope onboard a large aircraft to look through the nuclear-disturbed high-altitude environment and to provide fire control solutions to follow-on nuclear-armed interceptors. If Russia or China developed such a capability, this would raise concern that the smaller U.S. nuclear offensive forces’ assured retaliation capability could be compromised. Without the MIRV option on U.S. land-based ICBMs, an alternative might be considered, such as developing a transoceanic-range maneuvering reentry vehicle. Small nuclear-armed variants of the X-37 winged reentry vehicle could be used as an anti-BMD weapon.

Defense Budget Implications

For the United States to deploy, by 2010, a robust, terrestrially based missile defense architecture designed to stop a small rogue ICBM threat will likely cost more than $5 billion per year in procurement costs alone after fiscal year 2003 (FY03). Apart from PAC-3 procurement, the bulk of the approximately $8 billion allocated for the BMD programs in FY03 is for research, development, and testing. Costs to deploy a space-based BMD will be much higher, but that bill would not emerge until after 2010. In light of the September 11 strategic attack and the U.S. response, the budgetary implications of building a more robust missile defense posture, beyond the “anti-rogue” requirement, are unclear.

Prior to September 11, defense spending was not likely to rise more than 3 percent a year during the decade. Thus, to fund a robust BMD/AD program would have required that other investment accounts in the defense budgets would have to be cut back. Now there is likely to be a substantial increase in defense spending for the next few years. After that, sustained defense budget increases will face severe pressure as the Federal Government slides back into a period of fiscal deficits for much of this decade.

Certainly, much more will be spent on broad homeland defense requirements and a new generation of reconnaissance-strike systems associated with the “transformation” of non-nuclear forces. Operation Enduring Freedom has the potential of generating far greater costs than the campaign in Afghanistan, especially if a decision is made to destroy the regime of Saddam Husayn in Iraq by a major military campaign. How the costs of these emerging theater warfighting demands, expanded homeland defense requirements, and the non-nuclear transformation will affect the pace and scale of any BMD deployment during this decade remains uncertain at this time.

Possible Chinese Responses

A critical variable is how China will react to the emergence of the American BMD program without the constraints of the ABM Treaty. If reassured by Washington that the U.S. aerospace defense architecture is not aimed at China, Beijing may take a more relaxed attitude, especially if cooperation with Washington in support of Operation Enduring Freedom is substantial, and U.S. and Chinese trade ties greatly expand after China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. Nevertheless, Beijing might conclude that it will have to develop and deploy a robust assured retaliation capability against planned and future U.S. aerospace defense capabilities. A U.S. decision to press ahead with a space-based weapon segment of a BMD architecture is likely to prompt China to undertake a more vigorous and diversified nuclear offensive modernization program.

A key geostrategic driver for the American-Chinese relationship is whether the fate of Taiwan is moving in a direction satisfactory to Beijing. Left unresolved, the Taiwan problem is likely to remain the premier source of tension between Beijing and Washington throughout this decade. If the Taiwan problem is not resolved and is a serious source of tension between Washington and Beijing, China has an array of potential nuclear force posture responses.

China’s strategic response to the emerging U.S. BMD capability will be tempered by the desire of the Chinese leadership not to ignite an offensive-defensive strategic arms competition with the United States. However, the political-military leadership in Beijing is likely to sustain a sizeable transoceanic-range missile program to ensure that China maintains a robust assured retaliation capability. This strategic offensive force modernization program is likely to include the deployment of several tens of the DF-31 and DF-41 class ICBMs. They will probably be based on mobile launchers that operate from dispersed, hidden, and heavily hardened main operating bases. Whether MIRV technology is developed and deployed likely will depend upon the assured retaliation requirement that emerges in Beijing, as well as the Chinese desire to minimize the economic cost of any nuclear arms competition with the United States. China may invest heavily in long-range cruise missile systems as a credible “by-pass option” to defeat the emergence of substantial BMD capabilities in East Asia or a more robust American BMD program. The Chinese may conclude that investment in a fleet of submarines armed with long-range cruise missiles is better than deploying a small number of very expensive SSBNs. They might conclude that it is in their military interest to deploy a nuclear-armed BMD system.

Other Nuclear-Armed States, Major Powers, and NPT

A critical aspect of the Bush administration’s new strategic framework is its approach to other nuclear-armed states, its major non-nuclear-armed allies, and the fate of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). A central strategic objective of Operation Enduring Freedom was the destruction of Al Qaeda and the Taliban regime without destabilizing a nuclear-armed Pakistan. Other nuclear-armed states and other major powers are likely to react to the U.S.-Russian Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) and the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in various ways.

France and the United Kingdom

The French and British governments will likely take a positive public stance toward the new U.S.-Russian agreement to reduce nuclear arsenals. On the other hand, both will be concerned that without the restraint of the ABM Treaty, Russia might deploy a robust nuclear-armed BMD
architecture. In response to this possible contingency, both might jointly explore the development of a nuclear-armed variant of the Scalp/Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missile as a low-cost means of diversifying their nuclear arsenal to hedge against an emerging Russian high-performance BMD capability.

The geostrategic relationship between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Russian Federation is likely to be transformed in a positive way as a result of several factors, including the establishment of the new NATO-Russian Council, rapprochement between Moscow and Washington prompted by the war on terrorism, and Russia’s emergence as a major oil and gas producer, which acts as a brake on the ability of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to prop up oil prices.

Thus, the political, economic, and strategic demands of supporting the United States during Operation Enduring Freedom and other military campaigns during the war on terrorism are likely to overshadow nuclear-related issues for much of the decade.

Other NATO Europe

The rest of NATO Europe will react to the U.S.-Russian SORT and U.S. termination of the ABM Treaty in a fashion similar to that of France and Britain. Most will be loath to make a major investment in BMD, even with American technological assistance, if only because of the high cost of any significant program. Some NATO countries, notably France, the United Kingdom, and possibly Germany, may be prepared to increase defense spending to deal with the emergent international terrorist threat. They could fund a moderate degree of military modernization to transform their armed forces from having a continental defense capability to that of theater power projection during this decade.8


The Israeli government will be very interested in gaining American resources to fund its indigenous Arrow theater ballistic missile defense program. In the strategic environment that has developed since last September, the United States is likely to encourage the deployment of a wide range of systems for defense against theater ballistic missiles by its key Arab allies and by Turkey, especially if Iran makes major progress with its SRBM and medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) programs. Israel will be intent on deepening its strategic relationships with Turkey and India, a process likely to be encouraged by the United States, especially in the context of the war on terrorism.

Israel will maintain and modernize its nuclear arsenal while resisting engagement in any formal negotiations that link its program to other emergent nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs in the Greater Middle East.

India and Pakistan

With the launching of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Bush administration radically altered the U.S. geostrategic approach to South Asia. Pakistan has become a vital but very fragile ally in the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. To improve relations with both countries, the Bush administration promptly dropped in September 2001 nearly all economic and arms transfer sanctions imposed upon Pakistan and India after their 1998 nuclear tests. De facto rather than de jure, both countries have now been grandfathered into the NPT regime.

The nightmare scenario of the next few years is that American and allied military operations in South or Southwest Asia end up severely destabilizing the Pakistani regime. Whether due to a coup by a more pro-radical Islamic faction within the military—or something close to outright civil war—the reliability of central control of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal could be diminished. In these circumstances, there would be the distinct prospect of Indian military intervention (with possible Israeli assistance), and the prospect of a major regional war in which the use of nuclear weapons could not be precluded.

India has become an important nuclear-armed ally of the United States, providing diplomatic and material support for Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. rapprochement with India is consistent with the U.S. low-profile long-term containment or hedging strategy aimed at China. The Indian government has already warmly endorsed the elements of the New Strategic Framework, with its emphasis on ballistic missile defenses. India will tend to size its nuclear program to the evolution of the Chinese arsenal and not that of Pakistan. A robust Chinese missile modernization program would give advocates of a major Indian intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) buildup good political ammunition. However, it is likely that any buildup of India’s nuclear capability will be severely restrained by budget limitations.

Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia

Iran’s chances of acquiring a small nuclear arsenal by the end of the decade will be strongly influenced by relations between Washington and Moscow. In the context of their improved relations, Iran’s progress in this regard may be slowed considerably. In particular, if Russian direct and indirect support dries up, this will slow the Iranian long-range missile program. Unfortunately, Iran has useful alternative sources of missile technology. Obvious candidates include China, North Korea, and possibly Pakistan. Conversely, Moscow may continue to expand its military supply relationship with Tehran to solidify an enduring geostrategic and geo-economic relationship, and this is likely to be a source of ongoing tension with the United States.

A very important new geostrategic possibility is whether one of the objectives of Operation Enduring Freedom—that of destroying the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and stabilizing its successor regime—will facilitate a rapprochement between Tehran and Washington. A significant improvement in U.S. and Iranian relations might radically reduce Tehran’s interest in a costly ICBM program, thus reducing the rationale for any American deployment of an antirogue BMD before 2010. On the other hand, even a significantly improved relationship between Washington and Tehran is unlikely to slow down Iran’s regionally oriented SRBM and MRBM programs that are aimed at Israel and the possible reemergence of Iraq’s missile capability. At present, the prospect of improved U.S.-Iranian relations has all but disappeared after the administration labeled Iran a member of the “axis of evil.” Iran’s involvement in transferring weapons to Palestinian terrorist groups and its support for regional warlords in Afghanistan who oppose the central government has put a further chill in the relationship.

Although the current and future Iraqi leadership will have great ambitions to acquire a nuclear arsenal, it is unclear whether they will be successful in this decade without outside assistance. Further, an Iraqi nuclear weapon program could, if detected, prompt a military response by the United States, Iran, Turkey or Israel.

The chances that the United States will launch a major military campaign to overthrow the current Iraqi leadership will remain high in light of the long-term goal of Operation Enduring Freedom to neutralize all states that support international terrorist activities and are developing weapons of mass destruction.

Saudi Arabia will remain a major geostrategic challenge for the United States. The Saudi regime appears to be more fragile as domestic sympathy for the ideology of Al Qaeda has emerged. The success and conduct of Operation Enduring Freedom may have a profound influence on the emerging geostrategic consensus within the Saudi elite. A major issue will be whether the elite is reassured by U.S. military action against Al Qaeda and the Taliban or believes that it is instead highly destabilizing, both domestically and regionally. A major future source of strain between Riyadh and Washington is whether the United States will make a major military effort to overthrow the regime of Saddam Husayn, with or without Saudi support. Finally, U.S. and Saudi strategic relations will be profoundly affected by the outcome of the dramatic escalation of violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The success or failure of the Bush administration’s effort to gain a durable peace agreement will likely color U.S. and Arab relations writ large for the foreseeable future.

Riyadh may seek to acquire a robust theater ballistic missile capability or a nuclear-armed follow-on to its long-range missile deterrent force of obsolete Chinese CSS-2 IRBMs. If it has a geostrategic falling out with the United States, if Iran or Iraq makes progress toward acquiring an operational nuclear arsenal, or, especially, if either Iran or Iraq succeeds in acquiring one, the Saudi elite might choose a French-style, go-it-alone nuclear strategy. Pakistan is a likely source of supply for such a strategic nuclear capability.

Japan and the Koreas

The evolution of the Japanese “virtual arsenal”—its capacity for rapid development and deployment of nuclear weapons—is likely to depend upon the evolution of Japan’s relations with the two Koreas and China and Tokyo’s continued confidence in the credibility of the U.S. security commitment to Japan. The fate of North Korea’s nuclear weapon and long-range missile programs will have a major impact on U.S.-North Korean relations. If the Bush administration cannot negotiate a termination of the North’s long-range missile program and a ban on missile technology exports, then it is unlikely that Washington will take it off the list of potentially nuclear-armed rogue states. Indeed, the prospect that Washington and Pyongyang will successfully resolve these issues has dimmed after the North Korean regime was branded as a member of the “axis of evil” and the Bush administration decided not to certify that North Korea is in compliance with its obligations under the 1994 Nuclear Framework Agreement. A deep-freeze in U.S.-North Korean relations, a resumption of the North Korean nuclear weapons program, and a collapse in the South Korean “Sunshine Policy” of reconciliation with the North would all encourage Japan to hedge its bets by maintaining its “virtual nuclear arsenal” option and to acquire a substantial theater missile defense capability, even in the face of Chinese protests.

If, instead, Pyongyang decides to give up its missile program, as it has partially given up its nuclear weapon program for the right price, Moscow and China are likely to argue that this greatly reduces the need for Washington to rush ahead with an early÷BMD deployment, even without the restraints of the ABM Treaty. Certainly success in this regard might drastically cool any Japanese government support for a robust BMD program, especially as such a program would elicit strong Chinese opposition.

Impact on NPT and Nuclear Testing

The new U.S.-Russian agreement on strategic force reductions will allow the United States and the Russian Federation to take the diplomatic high ground on the subject of nuclear weapons. Washington will make the argument that it strongly supports the objectives of the NPT, while hedging for its possible erosion through the worldwide deployment of robust missile defense systems. The actual effect on the durability of the NPT regime of the geostrategic earthquake caused by the events of last September is unclear.

The United States and its key allies now have accepted the fact that both Pakistan and India have become and will remain overt nuclear-armed states. Perhaps the NPT regime as a global non-nuclear norm will be strained but not broken. The consequences of Operation Enduring Freedom, especially the wider war against terrorism (including a possible major military campaign against Iraq), could have a profound effect on the viability of the NPT regime.

The fate of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty will be decided in the near future. With or without the treaty in force, several nuclear-armed states will have strong military and technical incentives to resume testing; these states include China, India, and Pakistan. China may desire further tests to improve its option to deploy small warheads on MIRVs on its next-generation long-range ballistic missiles. India and Pakistan may desire further tests to assure the effectiveness of their nuclear forces since public evidence suggests that both had technical difficulties during their 1998 test series. On the other hand, both Pakistan and India will have a much closer political-military relationship with the United States, reducing incentives for resumed nuclear testing. Finally, there is the remote prospect that Iran might choose to conduct a test series to announce its acquisition of a nuclear arsenal.

The United States may have a strong incentive to resume nuclear weapon testing if the Bush administration believes it necessary to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons to support its goal of a smaller, more flexible nuclear arsenal. Conversely, a geostrategic and geo-economic rapprochement with the Russian Federation and improved relations with China may preclude that option, whether or not Washington returns to the nuclear test ban negotiating table. It is important to note, however, that the NPR decision to maintain thousands of warheads in reserve, partly as a hedge against a declining nuclear infrastructure, undermines the rationale for the resumption of nuclear testing to maintain the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons in the active stockpile. Should such problems arise that cannot be fixed by the Department of Energy’s Stockpile Stewardship Program, warheads in the inactive stockpile would be available for such a purpose.

Concluding Observations

In the context of the new security environment, the relevance of the old Cold War-era concepts of strategic and arms race stability, which reflected the intense bipolar geopolitical and nuclear competition between two rival superpowers, should be reexamined, along with the implications of alternative offense-defense force mixes for both types of stability. In considering what form of stability is appropriate for the new security environment, or whether the Cold War concepts remain relevant, the number of strategic warheads deployed by America and Russia should not be the only or even the primary consideration. More important is the posture of rapid response forces—in particular, how they are deployed and whether they are survivable in all types of situations, from normal peacetime (day-to-day status) to periods of heightened tension, when a nation may put more of its forces on alert (generated status). Such factors, along with early warning and command and control capabilities, have a far greater impact than force levels on crisis or first-strike stability, particularly whether they encourage escalation in a crisis situation. While lower numbers may be justified on the basis of changes in the strategic landscape, they are not intrinsically better and should not be the primary measure to evaluate alternative offense-defense mixes or options for lower strategic levels.

Translating the broad concepts of the new strategic framework into a coherent strategic doctrine to guide specific policies, plans, and programs will prove challenging. If the nuclear theology of the Cold War is anachronistic, disagreements remain over the paradigm that should replace it. If the process of defining U.S. nuclear force requirements and nuclear weapons employment policy is outdated, the new standard for sizing and structuring strategic forces is by no means transparent. Moreover, if the traditional concept of deterrence based on the threat of nuclear retaliation is to be supplemented and strengthened by measures of defense, denial, and dissuasion, a new metric for judging the success of this effort has yet to be articulated. Put simply, major intellectual, doctrinal, and technological challenges confront the transformation of the American strategic posture.

To its credit, the Bush administration is seeking to redefine the concepts of deterrence and strategic stability. In dealing with these doctrinal and conceptual challenges, the core assumption of the Bush administration is that the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security policy, and in international security affairs writ large, is to be reduced through a coordinated transition from a world dominated by the concept of nuclear assured retaliation to one of defense. To date, however, the policies, plans, and programs developed by the administration, for both strategic offensive forces and missile defenses, suggest that this transition has only just begun.

The Bush administration has embraced the anti-rogue-state rationale for its decision to withdraw unilaterally from the ABM Treaty and proceed with deployment of missile defenses. It has also maintained that the system which will be designed and deployed is intended to intercept limited missile strikes and will therefore not threaten Russia’s or China’s strategic deterrent. Nonetheless, the plans that have been articulated thus far—specifically the interest in developing a layered system consisting of ground-, sea-, air-, and space-based elements capable of intercepting intercontinental-range ballistic missiles during every phase of flight trajectory—promise deployments well in excess of the “limited” system of 200 ground-based interceptors envisaged by the Clinton administration. In particular, the Bush administration interest in developing space-based boost-phase weapons may prove to be a major indicator of perceived U.S. strategic hostility—a “red line”—for both Russia and China.

Similarly, the NPR raises questions about the depth of administration commitment to transforming strategic policy. Notwithstanding the rhetoric of making a clean and clear break with Cold War nuclear theology, the Bush administration’s nuclear strategy, force structure, and targeting philosophy closely resemble, with one or two exceptions, the outdated Cold War policies and practices that it inherited from its predecessor.

In the future, nuclear strategic stability between the great nuclear-armed powers will not rely upon precise quantitative Cold War-era calculations of “how much is enough” to ensure a massive assured retaliation capability. Rather, the great powers, especially the United States, Russia, and China, have entered a complex geostrategic era in which important
issues of state will generate cooperation or competition. The requirement for assured nuclear retaliation will increasingly depend upon more qualitative judgments about the complex state of relations between these three nuclear-armed states. “How much is enough” will be based primarily upon a qualitative geostrategic calculus rather than one of narrow nuclear weapon exchange numerology.


 1.  President George W. Bush made the most comprehensive public exposition of the administration’s “new strategic framework” in his May 1, 2001, speech at the National Defense University, Washington, DC, accessed at <>. [BACK]

 2. There is an extensive literature dealing with the issues of nuclear weapons and deterrence doctrine. The following list, which is by no means exhaustive, offers a broad philosophical, conceptual, and historical perspective on these issues and elucidates the scope of contemporary policy debates. John Baylis and Robert O’Neill, eds., Alternative Nuclear Futures: The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the Post-Cold War World (London: Oxford University Press, 2000); Harold A. Feiveson, ed., The Nuclear Turning Point: A Blueprint for Deep Cuts and De-alerting of Nuclear Weapons (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution Press, 1999); Keith B. Payne, The Fallacies of Cold War Deterrence and a New Direction (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2001); Janne E. Nolan, An Elusive Consensus: Nuclear Weapons and American Security after the Cold War (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution Press, 1999); and Roger Molander, David Mosher, and Lowell Schwartz, Nuclear Weapons and the Future of Strategic Warfare, MR-1420 (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2002). [BACK]
 3. This chapter does not cover other major homeland defense issues, such as the design of defenses against a repeat of September 11, including the clandestine delivery of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. It focuses only on the relationship between U.S. nuclear offensive weapon plans and programs and the Bush administration’s shift toward a posture emphasizing missile defense capabilities against both ballistic and cruise missiles. The September attacks highlighted the requirement that any strategic missile defense architecture will have to include active counters to both ballistic and aerodynamic means of delivery of nuclear weapons. In part reflecting this new reality, the Ballistic Missile Defense Office was renamed the Missile Defense Agency in December 2001. [BACK]

4. On May 24, 2002, President George W. Bush and President Vladimir Putin signed the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions. Under this Treaty, the United States and the Russian Federation will reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to a level of 1,700-2,200 by December 31, 2012, a two-thirds reduction below current levels. The Treaty does not include any specific commitment by either side as to disposition of those warheads taken out ot service, an issue that may be a subject of future negotiaions. This Treaty is part of the new strategic framework that the United States and Russia have established that also includes a commitment to strengthening confidence and increasing transparency in the area of missile defense. Among the steps both countries have agreed to implement are the exchange of information on missile defense programs and tests and reciprocal visits to observe missile defense tests. In addition, both countries have agreed to study possible areas for missile defense cooperation, including the expansion of joint exercises related to missile defense and the exploration of potential programs for the joint research and development of missile defense technologies. [BACK]

5. For other discussions of weaponizing space and related issues, see chapter 12 by Stephen P. Randolph in the present volume. [BACK]

6. See J.D. Couch, Special Briefing on the Nuclear Posture Review, January 9, 2002, accessed at <>. For a more detailed discussion of U.S. strategic policy by outside experts that influenced the key directions of the NPR, see National Institute for Public Policy, Rationale and Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Forces and Arms Control, January, 2001, accessed at <>; and Center for Counterproliferation Research, National Defense University, and Center for Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, U.S. Nuclear Policy in the 21st Century: A Fresh Look at National Strategy and Requirements, October 1998, accessed at <>. [BACK]

7. See National Intelligence Council, “Foreign Missile Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat through 2015,” January 11, 2002, accessed at <>. [BACK]

8. For a more complete discussion of American and European military technology cooperation, see chapter 9 by Charles Barry in the present volume. [BACK]



Table of Contents  |  Chapter Twelve