US FOIA Documents Nuclear Strategy and War Planning

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"US FOIA Documents Nuclear Strategy and War Planning", Nuclear Strategy, December 31, 2001,

The US nuclear posture has undergone considerable reform in the first decade following the end of the Cold War. The number of nuclear weapons has been reduced, the remaining weapons upgraded, and the infrastructure that supports nuclear war planning has been modernized to make the nuclear posture relevant to the post-Cold War world.

The Bush administration has sent Congress the results of a year-long Nuclear Posture Review. The review took place largely without public input, and a leaked excerpt disclosed in the Los Angels Times in March 2002 cause widespread debate about the future direction of the US nuclear posture.

This debate revealed a significant gap between official and public understanding of what the nation’s nuclear posture is. It also showed widespread lack of knowledge among reporters, experts, and NGOs of US nuclear posture developments as they occurred in the first decade after the Cold War.

In order to improve the knowledge of US nuclear posture planning as it has occurred since the early 1990s, and to empower the public’s ability to impact the future direction of US nuclear policy, several categories of documents relating to US nuclear forces and planning are made available (see bar to the right).

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