What was the ultimate goal and purpose of the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR)? Has it changed the way the U.S. military plans future operations and investment strategies? What is the likely impact of the NPR on the global norms of nonproliferation and nuclear nonuse? In the volume at hand, our purpose was to address such questions by tracing the logic of the NPR and to identify what remains to be done to make it a reality. Our underlying assumption was that the NPR offered a reasonable response to the political, technical, and strategic challenges and opportunities faced by U.S. policy makers and planners and that this threat environment will likely dominate planning for at least the next decade. We asked each of our contributors to discuss the policy implications of the NPR in terms of a variety of issue areas and regional settings. We hoped thereby to provide an objective view of evolving U.S. deterrence strategy, allowing us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the NPR and to identify the roadblocks in the path of any effort to transform the U.S. nuclear arsenal into a new type of strategic deterrent that embodies nuclear and conventional weapons and missile defenses. We wanted to avoid both extremes in our assessment of the new policy; blanket denunciation or automatic acclamation. Somewhere in the middle was fertile ground for rigorous and unbiased analysis.
KeywordsNuclear Weapon Bush Administration North Atlantic Treaty Organization Strategic Mission Nuclear Deterrence
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