Nuclear Posture Review

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The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is a process “to determine what the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. security strategy should be.”[1]


The first NPR of 2002 was the second of these quadrennial reviews of United States nuclear forces undertaken by the United States Department of Defense. The first took place in 1994. The final report is National Security Classified and submitted to the Congress of the United States.[2]

The 2002 Nuclear Posture Review also included components requiring the "Pentagon to draft contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons against at least seven countries, naming not only Russia and the "axis of evil"—Iraq, Iran, and North Korea—but also China, Libya and Syria."[3]

President Barack Obama's 2010 Nuclear Posture Review was preceded by high expectations because of his 2009 speech in Prague, Czech Republic where he prominently outlined a vision of a world without nuclear weapons. His NPR was hoped by observers to make concrete moves toward this goal.[4] The finished 2010 policy[5][6][7] renounces development of any new nuclear weapons such as the bunker-busters proposed by the Bush administration, and for the first time rules out a nuclear attack against non-nuclear-weapon states who are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This rule pointedly excludes Iran and North Korea.[8][9][10]

As part of the implementation of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the U.S. Government is reviewing its nuclear deterrence requirements and nuclear plans to ensure that they are aligned to address today's threats. Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Acting Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, said in early June 2012 that the United States was considering what forces the United States needed to maintain for strategic stability and deterrence, including extended deterrence and assurance to U.S. Allies and partners. Based on this analysis the United States would develop proposals for potential further reductions in its nuclear stockpile.[11]

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  1. ^ [1] Archived August 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Statement by President Barack Obama on the Release of Nuclear Posture Review | The White House". 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
  3. ^ WILLIAM M. ARKIN: “Secret Plan Outlines the Unthinkable” - Los Angeles Times of March 10, 2002 (via Internet Archive)
  4. ^ David E. Sanger; Thom Shanker (28 February 2010). "White House Is Rethinking Nuclear Policy". New York Times. New York, NY: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  5. ^ Mary Beth Sheridan and Walter Pincus (6 March 2010). "Obama must decide degree to which U.S. swears off nuclear weapons". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Highlights of the Nuclear Posture Review". The Washington Post. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  7. ^ Mary Beth Sheridan (7 April 2010). "New nuclear arms policy shows limits U.S. faces". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Obama limits US nuclear arms use". BBC News. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  9. ^ David E. Sanger; Peter Baker (5 April 2010). "Obama Limits When U.S. Would Use Nuclear Arms". New York Times. New York, NY: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  10. ^ David E. Sanger; Thom Shanker (6 April 2010). "Obama's Nuclear Strategy Intended as a Message". New York Times. New York, NY: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  11. ^ "US "Not Developing New Nuclear Weapons, No New Nuclear Missions"". RTT Staff Writer. RTT News. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.

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