DOD sends Congress classified Nuclear Posture and Missile Defense reviews

By Tony Bertuca / March 29, 2022 at 4:19 PM

The Defense Department has sent Congress classified copies of the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review and Missile Defense Review, according to a Pentagon fact sheet.

Much like the 2022 National Defense Strategy, unclassified versions of the reports are not available but are “forthcoming,” according to a one-page fact sheet released by DOD.

The NPR, according to the Pentagon, “represents a comprehensive, balanced approach to U.S. nuclear strategy, policy, posture, and forces.”

Meanwhile, a senior defense official told reporters last week the fiscal year 2023 budget proposes the elimination of a low-yield, sea-launched cruise missile program established by the Trump administration.

“We had direction from the president to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our defense strategy,” the official said.

The NPR, according to the Pentagon, “underscores our commitment to reducing the role of nuclear weapons and reestablishing our leadership in arms control.”

Additionally, the Biden administration will “continue to emphasize strategic stability, seek to avoid costly arms races, and facilitate risk reduction and arms control arrangements where possible.”

The Pentagon also notes President Biden’s nuclear deterrence doctrine: “As long as nuclear weapons exist, the fundamental role of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attack on the United States, our allies and partners. The United States would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.”

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said, the MDR provides a framework for U.S. missile defense that is informed by the “evolving missile threat environment.”

“Missiles are a principal means for projecting military power, which makes missile defense a key component of integrated deterrence,” DOD said. “The MDR assures the vital contributions of missile defenses to a resilient defense posture that reduces adversary confidence in missile use, reassures Allies, and offers military options to avoid risks of escalation.”