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  1. US Nuclear Triad Overview
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Contact us to discuss how to proceed. The CRS is a Congressional "think tank" with a staff of around Reports are commissioned by members of Congress on topics relevant to current political events. Individual members of Congress will release specific CRS reports if they believe it to assist them politically, but CRS archives as a whole are firewalled from public access. This report was obtained by Wikileaks staff from CRS computers accessible only from Congressional offices.

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Submit documents to WikiLeaks. Copy this address into your Tor browser. The regime considered here thus implies an asymmetric verification burden on the United States unless the asymmetries are substantially reduced by negotiation. At the same time, redressing such asymmetries, in particular gaining Soviet agreement to cease producing plutonium for weapons, would be a clear gain for U.

We note that neither the United States nor the Soviet Union requires continued plutonium or highly enriched uranium production to meet current weapons requirements. Reductions in the stockpile of nuclear weapons could be implemented in the following stages:. Initially all the nuclear warheads associated with delivery vehicles that are eliminated or downloaded would be either stored or destroyed in a secure monitored facility. If destroyed, all recovered fissionable materials should be either retained in secure monitored storage or turned back to the country of origin for peaceful purposes.

The verification of such a destruction process could be conducted in a cooperative fashion that would not reveal information about weapons design. Separately, there could be a ban on the further production of weapons-grade fissile material for weapons purposes. An effective system of safeguards monitored bilaterally or through the IAEA should be established over the peaceful nuclear program, including all declared facilities capable of producing, utilizing, and processing fissile material to ensure that all such materials are accounted for in the peaceful inventory.

This would essentially utilize existing IAEA full-scope safeguard procedures now effectively applied to nonnuclear weapon states under the NPT.

US Strategic Nuclear Policy -- Part 1

Over the longer term, there could be verified declarations of remaining nuclear stockpiles. The nuclear weapons reduction regime could be further strengthened by requiring the declaration of any facility engaged in the continued fabrica. The most serious problem with this direct approach to controlling the nuclear weapons stockpile is the uncertainty about the size of the total stockpile of fissionable material at the time of the agreement. Declarations of these stockpiles could be useful as a confidence-building measure.

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IAEA access would help narrow estimates of past production. However, the complex operating histories of these facilities and the lack of critical past information would still prevent accurate estimates. Given the current large inventories of weapons, this would not be a problem in initial reductions. At lower levels, however, unless more complete transparency developed, this uncertainty could pose a significant risk if breakout from the reduction agreements occurred. If the problem proves to be serious as arsenals are drastically reduced, agreed quantities of weapons-grade U or plutonium could be held in monitored reserve.

In such a regime, special provisions would have to be made for tritium, a fusionable isotope of hydrogen that is critically important for thermonuclear weapons. Although it decays relatively rapidly 5. If needed, future supplies could be manufactured in existing or new reactors fueled by monitored excess U withdrawn from the weapons or peaceful stockpiles or by new, more environmentally benign, technologies outside the nuclear fuel cycle.

Special provisions for supplying highly enriched uranium for naval propulsion would also be needed. The contribution of a comprehensive test ban as a collateral measure in the proposed reduced role for nuclear weapons in a cooperative security regime is more difficult to assess. The importance assigned to such a ban depends on the subjective estimate of its value in supporting the regime's nonproliferation objectives, since its impact on the U.

With U. Politically, on the other hand, the failure of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union to negotiate a comprehensive test ban has become a symbol of the discriminatory nature of the NPT regime.


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As a consequence, the United States, which has borne the burden of this complaint because of its open advocacy of continued testing, may have lost some of its credibility as a leader in international efforts to control proliferation. There is concern that, when the future duration of the NPT is addressed at the 25th anniversary review conference in , lack of progress on a test ban could jeopardize extension of the treaty.

How difficult this issue will actually be remains to be seen, particularly if START is in place and the United States and the Soviet Union are making demonstrable progress toward substantial reductions in their nuclear arsenals in a cooperative security environment. In the final analysis, most countries will make their decisions about the utility of the NPT regime or their maintenance of a nuclear option on the basis of their perceptions of their own security interests, not on the actions of the United States and Soviet Union or other nuclear weapons states on testing.

The committee does not believe that a comprehensive nuclear test ban is critical to the policies recommended in this report and does not have a recommendation regarding one.

aminsboralben.ga Ball and J. Strategic Nuclear Targeting. Ithaca, N. May, G. Bing, and J. Steinbruner, Strategic Arms Reduction.

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Washington, D. Feiveson and F. An example of analysis that has resulted in similar suggested numbers of warheads is R. Livermore, Calif. The end of the Cold War and the transformation of international security now under way present the United States with opportunities to develop new policies based on greater international cooperation with the Soviet Union and other major powers. This new book describes two lower levels of nuclear forces that could be achieved, as well as other related measures to improve international security.

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Get This Book. Visit NAP. Looking for other ways to read this? No thanks. Suggested Citation: "IV. Page 26 Share Cite. Page 26 removing less survivable ones, while continuing to invest as necessary in the forces retained. Numbers of Targets and Weapons Since the beginning of the Cold War, the United States acquired strategic systems on the basis of political assessments of what was necessary to deter a nuclear war with the Soviet Union under the worst case scenarios perceived by the United States at the time.


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Page 27 Share Cite. Page 27 such a case, survivability and reliability would be lower than if the United States had acted when it received warning of an attack. Using this assumption, the overall ratio of weapons to targets in actuality there are different ratios for different nuclear missions has been estimated to lie in the range. Page 28 Share Cite.