The Nuclear Posture Review, released today, is the first overarching look at U.S. nuclear strategy since the end of the Cold War, a senior defense official briefing reporters on background said yesterday.
The review builds on President Barack Obama’s promise to take concrete steps toward the goal of achieving the safety and security of a world free of nuclear weapons, the official said.
A second element, the official added, was to maintain a nuclear deterrent as long as those weapons remain, and ensuring the safety, security and effectiveness of that deterrent while they remain.
The Nuclear Posture Review provides the basis behind many moves in the nuclear arena in the coming months, the official said. Obama will travel to Prague to sign the new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia on April 8. The treaty mandates further reductions to the U.S. and Russian arsenals, and officials looked to the Nuclear Posture Review guidance as they negotiated the treaty.
The review also will influence U.S. thinking in the nonproliferation treaty, the nuclear security summit and the nonproliferation review conference.