Changing World Situation Requires Resilient Nuclear Posture, DoD Official Says

The world has changed and America’s nuclear strategy has to change as well, the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy said here today.

David J. Trachtenberg told a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies seminar on Capitol Hill that the Nuclear Posture Review unveiled earlier this year had to incorporate the vast changes the world has seen since the last review in 2010.

“The 2018 NPR’s analysis and recommendations are grounded in a realistic assessment of today’s strategic environment,” Trachtenberg said. “That is one that recognizes that a much more challenging nuclear threat has emerged since the last Nuclear Posture Review was conducted in 2010.”

At that time, he said, the review was based on assumptions that have proven false. The premise behind the 2010 review was that the chances of a confrontation involving the United States, Russia or China were substantially lower than they were during the Cold War. There was even the idea then that United States, Russia and China could work together and possibly eliminate nuclear weapons altogether, he noted.

“The 2010 NPR asserted that engagement could result in greater Russian and Chinese restraint in their nuclear postures and programs, which would reassure and stabilize the regions,” he said. The NPR stated that if the United States reduced the role and numbers of U.S. nuclear weapons, then the…

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