Nuclear Weapons in 21st Century National Security

The purpose of this report is to inform the next administration’s decisionmaking on U.S. nuclear strategy, policy, posture, and related proliferation and arms control issues. Any decision that the United States makes with respect to its own nuclear stockpile and infrastructure must also address how these decisions (and perceptions of those decisions) may affect U.S. efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation and pursue lower global inventories of nuclear weapons. To address 21st century nuclear threats, and growing challenges to sustaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent, the next administration should build a package of nuclear initiatives that can attract broad support both at home and abroad. This study seeks to identify the components of a new centrist way forward to end the post-Cold War drift on U.S. nuclear strategy, policy, and capabilities.