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National security and nuclear weapons : maintaining deterrence in the 21st century

Author: United States. National Nuclear Security Administration.; United States. Department of Energy.; United States. Department of Defense.; United States. Department of State.
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.] : U.S. Dept. of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, [2007]
Series: Fact sheet (United States. National Nuclear Security Administration)
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : English
Summary:
A principal national security goal of the United States is to deter aggression against ourselves and our allies. Every American administration since President Truman has formulated a U.S. national security policy that makes clear the essential role that nuclear weapons play in maintaining deterrence. It is the policy of this Administration to achieve an effective strategic deterrent at the lowest level of nuclear  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: United States. National Nuclear Security Administration.; United States. Department of Energy.; United States. Department of Defense.; United States. Department of State.
OCLC Number: 317406873
Notes: Title from title screen (viewed Mar. 30, 2009).
"July 2007."
Description: 1 electronic text : HTML file.
Details: Mode of access: Internet from the NNSA web site. Address as of 3/9/09: http://nnsa.energy.gov/news/1238.htm; current access available via PURL.
Series Title: Fact sheet (United States. National Nuclear Security Administration)
Responsibility: National Nuclear Security Administration ; a statement by the Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of State.

Abstract:

A principal national security goal of the United States is to deter aggression against ourselves and our allies. Every American administration since President Truman has formulated a U.S. national security policy that makes clear the essential role that nuclear weapons play in maintaining deterrence. It is the policy of this Administration to achieve an effective strategic deterrent at the lowest level of nuclear weapons consistent with our national security and our commitments to allies. In 2001, President Bush directed that the United States reduce the number of operationally deployed strategic nuclear weapons from about 6,000 to 1,700-2,200 by 2012 -- a two-thirds reduction. Corresponding reductions in the nuclear stockpile will result in the lowest level since the Eisenhower Administration. However, these reductions in the stockpile are only achievable with a responsive nuclear infrastructure. Successive efforts at extending the service life of the current inventory of weapons risks incorporating technical changes that could, over time, inadvertently undermine their reliability and performance. As the United States continues to observe a moratorium on underground nuclear testing, it becomes increasingly difficult to certify the existing stockpile of weapons. Moreover, it is difficult to incorporate modern safety and security features into Cold War-era weapon designs. To address these issues of sustainability, safety, security, and reliability, and to achieve a smaller yet credible nuclear deterrent force, the United States needs to invest in the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program. RRW will make U.S. nuclear weapons safer and more secure against unauthorized use by incorporating state-of-the-art security features that cannot be retro-fitted to older weapons. RRW designs will provide more favorable reliability and performance margins than those currently in the stockpile, and will be less sensitive to incremental aging effects or manufacturing variances.

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Primary Entity

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