Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Strategic Deterrent Forces

The commander of U.S. Strategic Command calls for modernizing the U.S nuclear deterrent—the bedrock of 21st-century U.S. national security.
March 22, 2016
Strategic Deterrent Forces

Sailors from an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group explain the MK II Talon robot to Admiral Haney. (Photo: U.S. Navy)


  • Managing Editor
  • Clay Dillingham
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Our choice is not between keeping the current forces or replacing them. The choice is between replacing those forces and risking not having them at all.

The global security environment is complex, dynamic, and volatile—perhaps more so than at any time in our history. We have nation-states such as Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran whose behavior on the international stage warrants our attention. A number of nation-states are developing, sustaining, and/or modernizing their nuclear forces and supporting capabilities.

The United States has reduced its nuclear weapons stockpile by 85 percent relative to the Cold War peak. However, to maintain strategic stability as we draw down our nuclear deterrent forces, the remaining systems must be safe, secure, effective, and ready. 

Yet, we are fast approaching the point where we will put at risk our safe, secure, effective, and ready nuclear deterrent, potentially jeopardizing strategic stability.