U.S. nuclear review could test force posture

Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev sign the New START treaty in Prague
The New START treaty signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) is already a relic of another era in arms control (source: dpa)
  • The Trump administration appears ready to abandon focus on nuclear arms reduction
  • Its current Nuclear Posture Review will probably emphasize more robust deterrence
  • Funding for systems upgrades and extending New START treaty will be key decisions

When President Donald Trump took office, one of his first actions was to order a Nuclear Posture Review. The review could bring a significant departure from the policies of Barack Obama’s administration, which sought to de-emphasize dependence on the U.S. strategic nuclear force and reduce the nuclear stockpile.

The purpose of these reviews, conducted by the Department of Defense, is to adjust U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture to changing conditions. They become the basis for long-term planning, generally with a 10-year policy horizon, and for debating future budgets.

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