CISAC's Perry to head congressional commission examining nation's strategic weapons posture

Former U.S. Defense Secretary William J. Perry, co-director of CISAC's Preventive Defense Project, has been named chair of a Congressional bipartisan commission nominated March 19 to examine America's strategic military posture, including the "appropriate role" of nuclear weapons. The 12-member commission also will assess the role of nonproliferation programs and missile defenses in U.S. strategic policies. The group is expected to present a set of recommendations on future U.S. strategic policies to Congress and President George W. Bush by Dec. 1, 2008.

"A sound strategic posture and a healthy nuclear complex are vital to America's national policy," said Duncan Hunter, (R-CA), ranking member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee. "We look forward to receiving [the commission's] recommendations on how we can improve our strategic posture and ensure the longterm sustainability of our nuclear complex."

Subcommittee Chairman Ellen Tauscher, (D-CA), said the commission is needed, "to get the nation's nuclear policy back on track. For too long we have missed the forest for the trees, and I am hopeful this commission will encourage a vital national discussion that is both open and transparent about the appropriate role of nuclear weapons in our national security."

The members nominated to the commission by the House Armed Services Committee are:

  • William Perry, commission chairman, former Secretary of Defense;
  • John Foster, director emeritus of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory;
  • Lee Hamilton, former Congressman and vice chair of the 9/11 Commission;
  • Keith Payne, CEO and president, National Institute for Public Policy;
  • Ellen Williams, University of Maryland distinguished professor;
  • Harry Cartland, former physicist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The members nominated by the Senate Armed Services Committee include:

  • James Schlesinger, commission vice chairman, former Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Defense;
  • John Glenn, former senator and NASA astronaut;
  • Fred Ikle, former director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency;
  • Morton Halperin, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for International Security Affairs;
  • James Woolsey, former director, Central Intelligence Agency;
  • Bruce Tarter, former director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.