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[N]uclear weapons will continue INDEFINITELY (emphasis added) to play an indispensable role as a hedge against uncertainties, to deter potential aggressors who are both more diverse and less predictable than in the past, and to allow the United States to construct a more stable security environment.

- US Nuclear Policy in the 21st Century: A Fresh Look at National Strategy and Requirements, Center for Counterproliferation Research at the National Defense University and Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, July 1998, Preface, The preceding statement is qualified by the disclaimer that the views expressed in the report "may not be shared by all members or observers [of the study] and do not necessarily represent official U.S. government policy". However, the National Defense University is a Department of Defense institution, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a Department of Energy nuclear weapons laboratory, and the authors of the study are described as "present and former policymakers, military officers, scientists and academics".

Just as nuclear weapons are our most potent tool of deterrence, nevertheless they are blunt weapons of destruction and thus are likely always to be our weapons of last resort. Although we are not likely to use them in less than matters of the greatest national importance, or in less than extreme circumstances, nuclear weapons always cast a shadow over any crisis or conflict in which the US is engaged. Thus, DETERRENCE THROUGH THE THREAT OF USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS WILL CONTINUE TO BE OUR TOP MILITARY STRATEGY (emphasis added) [§] ... The US has now eschewed the use of either chemical or biological weapons and is seeking the complete elimination of such weapons by all nations through the CWC and BWC, but we would consider the complete elimination of our nuclear weapons only in the context of complete and general disarmament. Thus, since we believe it is impossible to 'uninvent' nuclear weapons or to prevent the clandestine manufacture of some number of them, NUCLEAR WEAPONS SEEM DESTINED TO BE THE CENTERPIECE OF US STRATEGIC DETERRENCE FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE (emphasis added).

- U.S. Strategic Command, Policy Committee, "Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence," 1995, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Hans Kristensen, (typographic errors corrected). The Policy Committee is one of the primary advisory groups to the head of Strategic Command. See Hans Kristensen, "U.S. Nuclear Strategy Reform in the 1990s," The Nautilus Institute (March 2000) 13-14, Kristensen discusses the development of US nuclear war plans in the 1990s culminating in the October 1999 implementation of SIOP-00 (Single Integrated Operational Plan). Kristensen states (p. 2) that present options range "from a demonstration attack with a single weapon to a half-hour spasm of more than 600 missile strikes, delivering almost 3000 warheads".

[T]he NPR [Nuclear Posture Review] strategy protects the U.S. option to reconstitute the stockpile to START I levels should unfavorable events occur in the former Soviet Union. The [START I and II] treaties only control the number of strategic nuclear weapons that can be loaded on treaty-specified and -verified strategic missiles and bombers. These nuclear weapons are limited to 6,000 by the START I Treaty and 3,500 by the START II protocol. The treaties do not control the total stockpile size or the composition of strategic and nonstrategic weapons of either side. THE U.S. STOCKPILE WILL BE LARGER THAN 6,000 UNDER START I AND 3,500 UNDER START II (emphasis added) since the stockpile also includes retaining weapons for nonstrategic forces, DoD operational spares, and spares to replace weapons attrited by DoE surveillance testing. In the START II case, the stockpile may also include retaining weapons to reconstitute to the START I level.
- Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Stockpile Stewardship and Management, Department of Energy, September 1996, p, S-13

We simply do not need to test nuclear weapons to protect our security. On the other hand, would-be proliferators and modernizers must test if they are to develop the kind of advanced nuclear designs that are most threatening. THUS, THE CTBT WOULD GO FAR TO LOCK IN A TECHNOLOGICAL STATUS QUO THAT IS HIGHLY FAVORABLE TO US (emphasis added). - Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Remarks at Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, November 10, 1999, Chicago, Illinois, as released by the Office of the Spokesman, US Department of State


Weapons activities provides for the maintenance and refurbishment of nuclear weapons to sustain confidence in their safety, reliability, and performance; expansion of scientific, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities to enable certification of the ENDURING (emphasis added) nuclear weapons stockpile; and manufacture of nuclear weapon components under a comprehensive test ban. Weapons activities also provide for continued maintenance and investment in the [Energy] Department's enterprise of nuclear stewardship, including MAINTAINING THE CAPABILITY TO RETURN TO THE DESIGN AND PRODUCTION OF NEW WEAPONS AND TO UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR TESTING (emphasis added), if so directed by the President. - Appendix, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2001, Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, p. 393, requesting authorization of $4,594,000 in 2001 for Department of Energy nuclear weapons activities

Nuclear deterrence remains key to the nation's defense and will FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.... [T]HE U.S. NUCLEAR DETERRENT IS A VITAL COMPONENT OF OUR NATION'S SECURITY TODAY AND WILL BE FOR MANY YEARS TO COME (emphasis added).... The job of DOE's [the Department of Energy's] nuclear weapons complex is to make sure that no one in the world doubts that the United States has the technical capability to project overwhelming nuclear force in the defense of our national interest. Accomplishing this task involves two parallel efforts. First, we must take care of the actual weapons themselves, including actions made necessary by aging, manufacturing defects, and NEW MILITARY REQUIREMENTS (emphasis added). Second, the nuclear deterrent must remain credible to our government officials and to the governments of allies and potential adversaries.
- Testimony of John C. Browne, Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory, to the Senate Armed Services Committee, October 7, 1999

Nothing in the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty prevents the United States or other nations from conducting nonnuclear-explosive stockpile activities to maintain and enhance the reliability and safety of its nuclear weapons, including ... DESIGN OR DEVELOPMENT OF NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS (emphasis added).... The Preamble of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty states that cessation of nuclear testing is "an effective measure of nuclear disarmament." Perhaps the drafters of this language believed that confidence in nuclear weapon stockpiles would inexorably erode over time to the point where they would no longer be regarded as credible weapons. [§] This is an unrealistic expectation, however, because no stockpile activities other than nuclear testing are prohibited by the treaty....

Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories are responsible for nuclear explosives, and while they cannot create completely new concepts without testing, MANY PREVIOUSLY TESTED DESIGNS COULD BE WEAPONIZED TO PROVIDE NEW MILITARY CAPABILITIES (emphasis added). [§] Over time, the question of whether the U.S. stockpile contains the appropriate warheads for the evolving threats is bound to become an issue. For example, if nuclear weapons emerge as the right answer to deter the use of other weapons of mass destruction in a regional conflict, the nuclear weapons we currently deploy may carry too high a yield and be far too disproportionate a response to be a credible deterrent. Proven designs of lower yield exist that might be adaptable for NEW MILITARY REQUIREMENTS (emphasis added) in the future. I believe that such weapons could be deployed this way without the need for nuclear tests. [§] Moreover, adapting deployed nuclear designs to new delivery systems, or even other delivery modes, is not constrained by the elimination of nuclear-yield testing. New delivery modes can be achieved and certified for older designs without nuclear testing. For example, LAST YEAR THE UNITED STATES COMPLETED CONVERSION OF A SET OF B61-7 GRAVITY BOMBS INTO B61-11 EARTH-PENETRATING WARHEADS. THEY ARE NOW OPERATIONALLY DEPLOYED (emphasis added), having replaced the B53 gravity bombs, which were retired, because they did not have modern safety features.
- Testimony of C. Paul Robinson, director, Sandia National Laboratory, to the Senate Armed Services Committee, 7 October 1999

Operational considerations clearly favor the B61-11 over the B53. Due to its size and weight, the B53 could only be delivered by the B52 bomber. The B61-11 is compatible with both the F-16 and B-2. The B61-11 produces far less collateral damage and has the same effectiveness against deeply buried targets as the B53 with less than one twentieth the yield.... The B61-11 is an outstanding example of using an existing weapon IN A NEW WAY (emphasis added) to hold at risk robustly defended, deeply buried targets.
- Testimony of Harold Smith, Assistant Secretary of Defense, to the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, 20 March 1997

The requirement to maintain the capability to design and engineer new weapon systems to military requirements [was] stated in the DoD [Department of Defense] Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN THE ENDURING STOCKPILE WILL EVENTUALLY BE REPLACED (emphasis added). This work is anticipated to begin around 2010. In the meantime, FUTURE NATIONAL POLICIES ARE SUPPORTED FOR DETERRENCE BY RETAINING THE ABILITY TO DEVELOP NEW NUCLEAR OPTIONS FOR EMERGENT THREATS (emphasis added).
- October 1997 Department of Energy Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan: First Annual Update, October 1997, p. 7-34

NS1: Maintain and refurbish (emphasis in original) nuclear weapons in accordance with directed schedules to sustain confidence in their safety and reliability INDEFINITELY (emphasis added), under the Nuclear Testing Moratorium and arms reduction treaties. - "Strength Through Science," The FY 2001 Office of Defense Programs Budget Request, February 7, 2000. Briefing sheet presented by Thomas F. Gioconda, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force, Acting Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs, Department of Energy

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