U.S Nuclear Weapon Policy

Current U.S. nuclear strategy is to retain a triad of nuclear weapons sufficient to counter the Russian strategic force and to provide a secure retaliatory capability to deter the use of nuclear weapons by hostile and irresponsible countries. That formulation, by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney has also been adopted. The reasons for retaining a triad, a product of very conservative estimates of what would be required to cope with a disarming Soviet first strike, are not discussed officially. Current force levels and reductions, which have been driven largely by political events of the recent past, also are not necessarily tied to prior assessments of military requirements or efficiency. The assumption is that a floor exists beneath which U.S. forces cannot be allowed to fall, but this minimum level is not necessarily determined by targeting doctrine or the political goals that the doctrine is meant to uphold.
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