GSF 2017: Nuclear Consensus Busters: Can Bipartisan Support for Nuclear Modernization Survive Putin, Kim Jong Un, and the Next NPR?
Nuclear Consensus Busters: Can Bipartisan Support for Nuclear Modernization Survive Putin, Kim Jong Un, and the Next NPR?
With nuclear rhetoric running high and the Trump Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review nearing completion this fall, hands are already wringing as to the future of the fragile political consensus that has supported the comprehensive modernization of the U.S. nuclear complex. Several issues risk tearing that consensus down the middle, including: the reported consideration of “mini-nukes” which would vacate the “three no’s policy” of the last administration (no new warheads, no new missions, and no new military capabilities for existing weapons); legislation to limit presidential powers regarding nuclear command and control; discussions of additional deployments of tactical nuclear capabilities to Europe or South Korea; possible U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty; and prohibitions on the extension of New START absent full INF compliance. The prospects of continued escalation with North Korea and the concerns that Russia may not reach New START central limits on strategic nuclear delivery systems by early next year are only raising the stakes and stoking the fires.
Dr. James Acton
Co-Director, Nuclear Policy Program, and Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Ms. Rebeccah Heinrichs
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Dr. John R. Harvey
Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Programs
Ms. Rebecca Hersman
Director, Project on Nuclear Issues and Senior Adviser, International Security Program, CSIS