1st Session

S. 1547

(as marked up by the Senate Armed Services Committee)



(a) Requirement for Comprehensive Review- In order to clarify United States nuclear deterrence policy and strategy for the near term, the Secretary of Defense shall conduct a comprehensive review of the nuclear posture of the United States for the next 5 to 10 years. The Secretary shall conduct the review in consultation with the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of State.

(b) Elements of Review- The nuclear posture review shall include the following elements:

(c) Report to Congress- The Secretary of Defense shall submit to Congress, in unclassified and classified forms as necessary, a report on the results of the nuclear posture review conducted under this section. The report shall be submitted concurrently with the quadrennial defense review required to be submitted under section 118 of title 10, United States Code, in 2009.

(d) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that the nuclear posture review conducted under this section should be used as a basis for establishing future United States arms control objectives and negotiating positions.

Senate Report 110-77

Revised nuclear posture review (sec. 1061) The committee recommends a provision that would direct the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, to conduct a review of the nuclear posture of the United States for the next 5 to 10 years. The new nuclear posture review (NPR) would be submitted to Congress in December 2009.

The last NPR was conducted at the outset of the Bush administration in December 2001. The committee believes that it is imperative that the next administration clearly articulate its nuclear policy at the outset of its tenure. The new NPR would include a review of the policy objectives with respect to nuclear forces and weapons and include the relationship among United States nuclear deterrence policy, targeting strategy, and arms control objectives. In addition the new NPR would look at the role that missile defense capabilities and conventional strike forces play in determining the size and role of nuclear forces.

The elements in the provision recommended by the committee are identical to the elements that were required to be addressed in the December 2001 NPR. The committee notes that the provision would also direct the Secretary of Defense to submit the new NPR in an unclassified form with a classified annex as necessary. Although the Secretary of Defense was directed to submit the December 2001 NPR in an unclassified form, unfortunately this never happened.