US Nuclear Weapons, Force Posture, and Infrastructure
US Nuclear Policy Review Project
There is a general agreement that the size of the US nuclear weapon stockpile, largely stagnant since the end of the Cold War, can continue downward and that the salience of nuclear weapons in US security policy should decrease—a sense reinforced by growing calls to work toward abolition. Yet, disputes exist about safe and confident ways of changing the US nuclear posture. Some suggest revamping the nuclear stockpile and infrastructure, while others worry that this will undermine global nonproliferation efforts and, thereby, US security. Alternatively, the United States could take more ambitious steps in reducing its nuclear weapons stockpile and infrastructure. Whatever path the president chooses will require congressional support; the current administration learned that lesson as Congress defeated several of its nuclear initiatives. Support, however, depends on the emergence of broad consensus within the national security community about the role of nuclear weapons—consensus that has been elusive since the demise of the Soviet Union.

This page is part of Rising Powers: The New Global Reality, a project from the Stanley Foundation.