An Alternative Nuclear Posture

Working Paper

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52nd Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs

August 10, 2002

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A portion of President Bush's 2002 nuclear posture was released or leaked recently. The posture is largely silent on international cooperation and largely negative on arms control. The main relatively new trend in the posture is that the US will be prepared to use nuclear weapons in a much wider range of circumstances than before, with a particular emphasis on tactical uses. Such an emphasis in a declaratory policy has not been seen since the days of "flexible response" forty or so years ago, when tactical nuclear weapons were deployed in Europe and elsewhere. Supporting that trend, the posture states that the infrastructure for those expanded missions will be built up, including the design and production of new nuclear weapons; and that arms control measures, such as SALT II and the CTBT, will not stand in the way.

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