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Title: REDUCTIONS WITHOUT REGRET: DETAILS - AVOIDING BOX CANYONS, ROACH MOTELS, AND WRONG TURNS

The United States is concurrently pursuing the goals of reducing the size of its nuclear weapons force – strategic and non-strategic, deployed and non-deployed – and of modernizing the weapons it continues to possess. Many of the existing systems were deployed 30 to 50 years ago, and the modernization process can be expected to extend over the next decade or more. Given the impossibility of predicting the future over the lifetime of systems that could extend to the end of this century, it is essential that dead ends in force development be avoided, and the flexibility and availability of options be retained that allow for • Scalability downward in the event that further reductions are agreed upon; • Reposturing to respond to changes in threat levels and to new nuclear actors; and • Breakout response in the event that a competitor significantly increases its force size or force capability, In this paper, we examine the current motivations for reductions and modernization; review a number of historical systems and the attendant capabilities that have been eliminated in recent decades; discuss the current path forward for the U.S. nuclear force; provide a view of the evolving deterrence situation and our assessment ofmore » the uncertainties involved; and present examples of possibly problematic directions in force development. We close with our thoughts on how to maintain flexibility and the availability of options for which a need might recur in the future.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1091327
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2013-00471
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
SRS
Sponsoring Org:
DOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE