The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) insists that “the United States is not turning away from its long-held arms control, non-proliferation, and nuclear security objectives,” even though “we must recognize that the current environment makes further progress toward nuclear arms reductions in the near term extremely challenging.” The NPR further supports “a wide range of activities that comprise a defense-in-depth” against nuclear terrorism, including measures to secure WMD materials, enhance international cooperation, deter state support for terrorism, and strengthen national defenses, preparedness, and resilience.
Some experts believe the Review’s emphasis on having strong U.S. strategic offensive and defensive capabilities will discourage U.S. adversaries from investing in nuclear forces, reassure allies that they do not need their own nuclear deterrents, and impede WMD use by state proxies. Others worry that the NPR’s approach will lead to more nuclear weapons states, alienate the global disarmament community, and increase the volume of dangerous nuclear material.
On February 27, Hudson Institute hosted a panel discussing how best to realize the NPR’s goals of preventing nuclear proliferation and terrorism. Participants were: Hudson Senior Fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs; Amb. Bonnie Jenkins of The Brookings Institution; and Simon Limage, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Programs. The panel was moderated by Hudson Senior Fellow Richard Weitz.
Hudson Institute would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for supporting our nuclear nonproliferation and security dialogues. Please follow our MacArthur Foundation work here.