Summary of Conclusions
This chapter highlights important statements and conclusions reached in the body of the report. The recommendations of the committee can be found in the Executive Summary at the beginning of the report.
THE CURRENT SECURITY CONTEXT
(1) The change from the bipolar contest between NATO and the Warsaw Pact to a multipolar world has had a profound impact on the future role of nuclear weapons. The dissolution of the Warsaw Pact seems irreversible; a massive surprise conventional attack by demonstrably superior Soviet forces against the Western countries is no longer credible.
(2) Although important parts of the Soviet military are resisting political and military changes, the Soviet political leadership under Gorbachev has taken significant steps by initiating major force reductions and withdrawals, adopting a defensive military posture, and accommodating to Western positions in START and CFE. At the same time, the large inventory of Soviet nuclear weapons implies a continued need to deter their use.
(3) Political developments in the Soviet Union, including the future status of the various Soviet republics, cannot be predicted; however, many of the changes in Soviet society appear irreversible.
(4) Europe, both West and East, is now engaged in the search for a new comprehensive European security system that will both build on existing institutions and ties and evolve new mechanisms and processes.
(5) In the past, U.S. security policy in East Asia has rested on collaboration with Japan and South Korea and a tacit security relationship with China. The future of this framework is threatened by the uncertainties of Chinese internal politics, contentiousness in U.S.-Japanese relations, continued tensions between North and South Korea, and North Korea's apparent interest in acquiring nuclear weapons.
(6) Currently India, Israel, and Pakistan have undeclared nuclear weapons capabilities. While some nations continue interest in acquiring nuclear weapons, others, including Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa, seem to have abandoned past programs.
THE FUTURE EVOLUTION OF THESECURITY CONTEXT
institutionalizing the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE);
a set of new and old multilateral structures, with overlapping memberships and missions; and
substantial bilateral guarantees.
(1) Security alignments in Europe will undergo major changes in the future. The major powers, including the United States, are expected to move further toward cooperative measures for resolving differences; the participation of the Soviet Union is expected but not assured.
(2) The nature of the European security structure of the future is not certain, but foreseeable needs include:
(3) Nuclear cooperation will be part of any future system of security cooperation in Europe. Such a system could involve joint planning for forces at significantly lower levels, detailed data exchange, and cooperation on matters such as political guidelines for use, safety, and transparency, as well as European cooperation with the United States and the Soviet Union on command and control, on safety and security, and on agreed restraints and verification of deployments and exercises.
(4) Notwithstanding the many uncertainties in the security relationships in Asia, U.S. interests demand sustained collaboration with Japan to forestall an autonomous Japanese security posture.
(5) A number of nuclear cooperative arrangements in Asia involving the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, and China appear useful. Among these are cooperation on command and control and on safety and security, and agreed restraints and verification of deployments and exercises, paralleling those planned or in place for Europe.
(6) Substantial reductions in U.S. and Soviet nuclear arsenals should strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
(7) Reduced U.S.-Soviet confrontation and shared interest among the
Page 47major powers should facilitate the imposition of controls on sensitive exports beyond those provided in the NPT regime; moreover, that regime could be strengthened by inclusion of controls over currently undeclared facilities and other measures.
(8) Extension of full-scope IAEA safeguards to all nuclear facilities of all countries importing nuclear technologies, whether signatories to the NPT or not, would be an important measure.
(9) Guarantees by the nuclear powers not to use, or threaten to use, nuclear weapons against nonnuclear powers would strengthen the nonproliferation regime by reducing both the threat and the perceived utility of nuclear weapons.
(10) Equally important as these “supply side” agreements, and of increasing relevance to U.S. policy, will be “demand side” agreements among potential nuclear weapons states designed to limit, by arms control and other measures, the potential threat that nations in a region may pose to one another.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES AFFECTING THE EVOLUTION OF NUCLEAR FORCES
(1) Both the Soviet Union and the United States can be more secure with fewer, more survivable systems. Neither country can nor should try to make gains in its national security at the expense of the national security of the other.
(2) U.S. national security with respect to nuclear weapons rests primarily on deterring nuclear attack against the United States and its allies, minimizing the number of nations possessing nuclear weapons, and minimizing the likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used anywhere.
(3) Cooperation in nuclear policy is an essential element of U.S. security and a necessity for preventing incentives for the major nonnuclear powers (for example, Germany and Japan) to acquire nuclear weapons.
(4) The principal objective of U.S. nuclear policy should be to deploy nuclear weapons solely as a deterrent to their use by others and to use them only in response to nuclear attack.
(5) Attempts to credibly extend the mission of nuclear weapons beyond the primary goal of deterring nuclear war, such as to deter massive nonnuclear attack on one's allies, at some level are in conflict with the primary goal. As a result of the immense changes in the world, the need for such extension is now greatly diminished.
(6) It is impossible to link specific deterrent objectives to well-defined requirements for nuclear forces and their control. Our ability to predict the political and security context for U.S. policy is limited. Deterrence is not an objective concept but depends on judgments about how national leaders
Page 48will respond. For all these reasons, the requirements for the future nuclear forces and their control cannot be established on an analytical basis but must be based on a combination of judgment and economic and political realities.
(7) Nuclear weapons constitute both assets to national security and liabilities. The latter stem from the enormity of the damage if deterrence fails, the impact of the size of nuclear arsenals on nuclear proliferation, the need to provide for safety and security, and the environmental and economic impact of the nuclear weapons infrastructure. Thus, more nuclear weapons do not necessarily imply an increase in national security, just as fewer nuclear weapons do not necessarily imply an increase in strategic stability. Requirements for nuclear forces and their control should therefore result from balancing the relevant factors.
(8) U.S. tactical nuclear forces in Europe are intended to deny incentives for nuclear proliferation and to provide a secure transition to whatever new nuclear configuration the European powers and security organizations adopt. But these objectives do not require the continuation of ground-based forces or numbers above the 1,000 to be specified in the NATO Strategy Review. The decision whether to maintain a U.S. nuclear presence in Europe in the long term should depend principally on whether it helps support European cooperation in security matters.
SPECIFIC CONCLUSIONS ON STRATEGIC FORCE CONFIGURATIONS
Survivability of the remaining systems should be improved. Among other conditions, this means that the ratio of strategic weapons to the number of strategic aimpoints can be decreased.
Stability must be maintained during the process of reductions.
The pressure for rapid retaliation when one side believes itself to be under attack must be minimized. This implies a need to:
— reduce further the susceptibility of the command system to disruption by a relatively small number of weapons,
— avoid targeting time-urgent strategic retaliatory systems,
— improve the reliability of warning, and
— design a target allocation procedure to ensure adequate coverage of a small number of essential targets by a reduced force even if the command and control system is damaged.
(1) The survivability of U.S. nuclear forces and their command and control systems must continue to be improved even as reductions take place.
(2) It is not in U.S. security interests to counteract Soviet efforts to increase the survivability of their nuclear forces.
(3) As nuclear forces are reduced, the following criteria appear essential:
(4) Security of command and control demands both increased confidence in nonrelease in peacetime and confidence that weapons could be released after attack. Permissive action links (PALs) or equivalent devices are highly desirable for all, including naval, nuclear forces. Other nuclear nations should be persuaded to implement such a provision.
(5) Cooperative measures can strengthen reliable warning of attack. These can range from sharing information based on national warning systems to cooperative management of devices installed on land-based systems to signal missile launches.
(6) It is neither necessary nor desirable for the United States and the Soviet Union to match strategic systems “in kind.” Rather, each nation should provide the maximum survivability for its forces, taking into account its particular geographic and economic circumstances.
(7) At reduced force levels deterrent targets could still include military-related industry and energy sources, essential elements of conventional forces, “soft” bases of strategic nuclear operations, and military command and control. Even without anticity targeting, attacks against such military-economic targets would cause heavy civilian casualties.
(8) Once START is in force and initial experience is favorable, if no significant strategic defense systems are deployed, if China, France, or the United Kingdom have not built up their nuclear forces significantly, and if the decrease in the Soviet conventional threat is not reversed, then 1,000-1,600 targets held at risk in the Soviet Union should meet the deterrent objectives cited. The weapons-to-target ratio under these assumptions need not be higher than 3:1. The total number of nuclear warheads is estimated to be about 3,000-4,000, a reduction by a factor of 2 to 3 below START.
(9) A further step in reducing strategic systems should be possible provided favorable experience in U.S.-Soviet nuclear relations continues; security cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union is established; and the remaining nuclear systems have attained a higher degree of survivability, availability, and reliability than they have at present. In addition, other nuclear powers should have accepted appropriate strategic arms limitations and the nuclear nonproliferation regime should be more firmly preserved or enhanced. Under these circumstances, the total number of targets adequate for deterrence might be in the 500-800 range, which, with a warheads-to-target ratio of 2-3:1, leads to a total requirement of 1,000-2,000 nuclear warheads.
(10) Many studies are available that provide specific designs for force configurations corresponding to numbers such as the ones cited. Which particular configuration should actually be adopted is not critical provided it meets the general criteria outlined. For economic reasons, wherever possible, reductions should be carried out by selective withdrawals rather than acquisition of new systems.
(11) The reduced strategic forces envisaged should preserve the “triad” concept. About one-half of U.S. weapons could be on submarines. Some land-based systems should be retained even at the lowest force levels considered. U,S.-based intercontinental bombers might retain about 25 percent of the warheads at each of the lower levels considered.
(12) If possible, the nuclear warheads should be destroyed whenever nuclear delivery systems are eliminated. This will require development of facilities and verifiable procedures for: dismantling warheads; destroying nonnuclear warhead components and placing the nuclear components in monitored storage; cutting off production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons; and placing the nuclear fuel cycles under “IAEA-like” safeguards, followed by transferring agreed amounts of fissionable materials from the military stockpile to the commercial fuel cycle.
(13) The ability to keep controlled quantities of highly enriched uranium for naval propulsion and for research and the continued production of the amounts of tritium needed to support the reduced weapons stockpile should be retained.
SPECIFICCONCLUSIONS ON NONSTRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES
(1) NATO has decided unilaterally to remove ground-based nuclear systems from its territory. The planned future deployment of French short-range nuclear missiles is meeting some resistance. It is assumed that the Soviets will remove their short-range nuclear systems from Europe as their troops withdraw.
(2) Fewer than 1,000 U.S. air-delivered nuclear weapons systems in Europe seems appropriate at present, and the level of any longer-term U.S. nuclear commitment there should be decided in cooperation with the European countries concerned.
(3) U.S. dual-purpose aircraft, without nuclear weapons under normal peacetime conditions, are likely to remain in Europe and on U.S. aircraft carriers.
(4) The unilateral U.S. withdrawal of many of the nuclear weapons on its surface ships as a result of changes in missions and threats is a stabilizing trend that should lead to agreements with the Soviet Union to eliminate them entirely.