Lessons Learned from the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review


The case studies in this special issue demonstrate that the Obama administration's 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and related nuclear policy initiatives encouraged a number of other nuclear weapon states to likewise reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security doctrines and helped pave the way with non-nuclear weapon states for a successful 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. This article reviews the contributing authors' case study findings regarding key foreign governments that applauded the 2010 NPR and were receptive to President Barack Obama's vision of a world free of nuclear weapons as well as governments that remained skeptical about US disarmament and arms control initiatives. We conclude with an analysis of the lessons that should be learned from the 2010 NPR process: the need for consistent implementation of changes in nuclear weapons doctrine, improved coordination and consultation with allies and other states, and further global education about the likelihood and consequences of nuclear terrorism.