Going Nuclear

By Sebastian Sprenger / April 5, 2010 at 5:00 AM

White House officials plan to roll out the much anticipated Nuclear Posture Review tomorrow. The document will be heavily scrutinized for any indications of how President Obama plans to implement his vision of a nuclear weapons-free world -- or at least diminish the role of nuclear weapons in the U.S. national security policy toolbox.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, on its Web site, editorialized about the potential outcomes of the review today. According to the UCS blog entry, a lot will hinge on subtleties in the final text, for example when it comes to the stated purpose of nuclear weapons. Options here, UCS folks write, range from characterizing atomic weapons strictly as a deterrent force to reserving the right to use them on a pre-emptive basis in certain circumstances.

Other points warranting attention will be sections on the U.S. arsenal size, stockpile maintenance plans, tactical weapons in Europe and the alert status of the U.S. arsenal, according to UCS.