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Assistant Secretary of Defense
Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence
6000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-6000

December 20, 2000

General Eugene E. Habiger, USAF (Retired)
Director, Office of Security and Emergency Operations
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585

Dear General Habiger:

In your letter of May 10, 2000, you asked the Department of Defense (DoD) to consider declassification of the total nuclear weapon stockpile quantities and declassification of the subcategorization of those quantities by purpose, delivery system, and active/inactive status. The DoD believes the current classification policy is still valid and does not agree with declassifying this information. We propose that DOE and DoD continue to use the formula previously agreed to in the report of the Fundamental Classification Policy Review Group regarding this issue; i.e., weapon retirement numbers and retirement rates may be declassified when dismantlement is completed. Additionally, it was agreed that although a weapon type, once retirement is authorized and dismantlement is completed, is no longer a factor in military capabilities, information concerning specific weapon builds and retirements may be a factor in international arms control negotiations. Therefore, declassification of information regarding production and dismantlement rates of specified weapons, even after using this formula, would need to be coordinated with the Department of State.

In today's environment of significantly reduced nuclear weapon stockpile numbers, the proposed declassification and subcategorization would reveal sensitive information pertaining to the pace and scope of changes in nuclear weapon stockpile quantities and status [and] could provide significant information on stockpile modernization, international treaty compliance and negotiation positions. Such stockpile information is directly relevant to the reconstitution of nuclear forces.

If there are any questions, please have a member of your staff contact Ms. Chris Bromwell at (703)697-1988.

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