News

Text: Defense Dept. Won't Comment on Leaked Nuclear Weapons Review

(U.S. continues to plan for contingencies as deterrence strategy)
(360)
10 March 2002

Responding to news reports March 9 based on leaked copies of a secret
Defense Department review of U.S. nuclear weapons plans, the
department refused comment on details, but said the review was the
latest in a long series conducted ever since nuclear weapons were
first developed.

In a March 9 statement, DoD said it continues to plan for
contingencies and threats, in order to deter attacks on the United
States and its allies.

Following is the text of the DoD statement:

(begin text)

U.S. Department of Defense
March 9, 2002

STATEMENT ON NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW

We will not discuss the classified details of military planning or
contingencies, nor will we comment on selective and misleading leaks.

The Nuclear Posture Review is required by law. It is a wide-ranging
analysis of the requirements for deterrence in the 21st century. This
review of the U.S. nuclear posture is the latest in a long series of
reviews since the development of nuclear weapons. It does not provide
operational guidance on nuclear targeting or planning.

The Department of Defense continues to plan for a broad range of
contingencies and unforeseen threats to the United States and its
allies. We do so in order to deter such attacks in the first place.

Of particular significance in the new Nuclear Posture Review is
President Bush's decision to reduce operationally deployed strategic
nuclear weapons by two-thirds, a decision made possible by the new
strategic relationship with Russia.

This administration is fashioning a more diverse set of options for
deterring the threat of WMD. That is why the Administration is
pursuing missile defense, advanced conventional forces, and improved
intelligence capabilities.

A combination of offensive and defensive, and nuclear and non-nuclear
capabilities is essential to meet the deterrence requirements of the
21st century.

For more information, see the Nuclear Posture Review foreword and the
Jan. 9 DoD news briefing transcript and accompanying briefing slides.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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