"From Counterforce to Minimal Deterrence"
New Report Recommends Nuclear Policy on the Path Toward Nuclear Disarmament
Die Federation of American Scientists (Vereinigung amerikanischer Wissenschaftler), zu der auch 68 Nobelpreisträger gehören, und der "NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL" (NRDC) veröffentlichten vor kurzem einen Bericht über die eine neue Atomwaffen-Politik, welche die USA anstreben sollte. Das Strategiepapier, das, wie russische Medien behaupten, von US-Präsident Obama in Auftrag gegeben wurde, soll die vor acht Jahren von den abgewählten Republikanern in Kraft gesetzte Kernwaffendoktrin ablösen, es ist aber erst eine Empfehlung an die neue Administration.
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir die Presseerklärung, mit der die Studie der Öffentlichkeit vorgestellt wurde, die offizielle Zusammenfassung sowie die abschließenden Empfehlungen der Autoren. In Russland wurde das Strategiepapier mit gemischten Gefühlen aufgenommen, worüber wir hier informierten: "Russland diskutiert USA-Kernwaffendoktrin".
New Report Recommends Nuclear Policy on the Path Toward Nuclear Disarmament
Author: Monica Amarelo
FAS and NRDC Chart Minimal Deterrent Nuclear Mission
Study Calls for New U.S Nuclear Weapons Targeting Policy
(WASHINGTON DC) In Prague, President Barack Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons. Today, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report calling for fundamental changes to U.S. nuclear war planning, a vital prerequisite if smaller nuclear arsenals are to be achieved. (PDF)
“From Counterforce to Minimal Deterrence -- A New Nuclear Policy on the Path Toward Eliminating Nuclear Weapons” calls to abandon the almost five-decade-long central mission for U.S. nuclear forces, which has been and continues to be “counterforce,” the capability for U.S. forces to destroy an enemy’s military forces, its weapons, its command and control facilities and its key leaders.
“The current rationale for maintaining an arsenal of nuclear weapons no longer exists.” said Ivan Oelrich, vice president of the Strategic Security Program at FAS and one of the report authors. “And to get future reductions in the number of weapons, we have to eliminate the missions they are assigned.”
The nuclear mission flows from directives and guidance given by the president, through the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Strategic Command where it is implemented into elaborate war plans. The report calls for eliminating all but one mission for nuclear forces.
“President Obama has already taken the first step by stating America’s commitment to a world without nuclear weapons,” said Robert S. Norris, senior research associate with the Natural Resources Defense Council and report co-author. “We present the radical changes needed in U.S. policies to make disarmament a reality.”
That sole mission is deterrence, narrowly defined, to mean the certain capability to retaliate if any nation was unwise enough to use nuclear weapons against the United States or certain allies.
“Under minimal deterrence, all requirements for war planners to achieve an advantage in a nuclear exchange or limit damage to ourselves will disappear, leaving only in place the most basic mission of a sure retaliatory response,” said Hans Kristensen, director of the FAS Nuclear Information Project and report co-author.
The report makes these main points:
Current nuclear doctrine is an artifact of the Cold War that needs to be fundamentally altered. The counterforce mission, and all that goes with it, should be explicitly and publicly abandoned and replaced with a much less ambitious and qualitatively different doctrine.
A minimal deterrence mission should be adopted as a transitional step on a path to zero nuclear weapons.
The President must be continuously engaged in this transformation with specific and direct instructions to the national security bureaucracies. Otherwise, presidential intentions can be co-opted and diffused.
Once formulated the President should publicly announce the changed role for nuclear weapons and the new types of targets.
Under American leadership the process should lead to engagement with the other nuclear powers towards a global goal of abolition.
The new strategy can be carried out with weapons in the current arsenal. No new weapons need to be built nor an extensive new complex created.
From Counterforce to Minimal Deterrence
A New Nuclear Policy on the Path Toward Eliminating Nuclear Weapons
Hans M. Kristensen, Robert S. Norris, Ivan Oelrich
Occasional Paper 7
To realize President Barack Obama’s vision of “dramatic reductions” in
the number of nuclear weapons, stopping development of new nuclear
weapons, taking nuclear weapons off alert, and pursuing the goal of a
world without nuclear weapons, radical changes are needed in the four types
of U.S. policies that govern nuclear weapons: declaratory, acquisition, deployment, and employment. This report largely concerns itself with employment
policy, that is, how the United States
actually plans for the use of nuclear
weapons, and argues that there should
be fundamental changes to the current
war plans and the process of how these
are formulated and implemented. The
logic, content, and procedures of the
current employment policy are relics of
the Cold War and, if not changed, will
hinder the hoped-for deep cuts to the
nuclear stockpile and the longer term
goal of elimination.
This report argues that, as long as the United States continues these nuclear
missions unjustifiably held over from the Cold War, nuclear weapons will contribute more to the nation’s and the world’s insecurity than they contribute to their security. And without those Cold War justifications, there is only one job left for nuclear weapons: to deter the use of nuclear weapons. For much of the Cold War — at least from the early 1960s — the dominant mission for U.S.
strategic weapons has been counterforce, that is, the attack of military, mostly
nuclear, targets and the enemy’s leadership. The requirements for the counterforce mission perpetuate the most dangerous characteristics of nuclear forces, with weapons kept at high levels of alert, ready to launch upon warning of an enemy attack, and able to preemptively attack enemy forces. This mission is no longer needed but it still exists because the current core policy guidance and directives that are issued to the combatant commanders are little different from their Cold War predecessors. General Kevin Chilton, head of U.S. Strategic
Command (STRATCOM), recently took issue with President Obama’s characterization
of U.S. nuclear weapons being on “hair-trigger alert” but made our
case for us by saying, “The alert postures that we are in today are appropriate,
given our strategy and guidance and policy.” [Emphasis added.] That is exactly
right and, therefore, if President Obama wants General Chilton to do something
different, he will have to provide the commander of U.S. nuclear forces with
different guidance and directives.
The counterforce mission, and all that goes with it, should be explicitly and
publicly abandoned and replaced with a much less ambitious and qualitatively
different doctrine. A new “minimal deterrence” mission will make retaliation
after nuclear attack the sole mission for nuclear weapons. We believe that
adopting this doctrine is an important step on the path to nuclear abolition
because nuclear retaliation is the one mission for nuclear weapons that reduces
the salience of nuclear weapons; it is the self-canceling mission. With just this one mission, the United States can have far fewer nuclear forces to use against a different set of targets. Almost all of the “requirements” for nuclear weapons’ performance were established during the Cold War and derive from the counterforce mission. Under a minimal deterrence doctrine, appropriate needs for
reliability, accuracy, response time, and all other performance characteristics,
can be reevaluated and loosened.
In this analysis, we consider in detail an attack on a representative set of
targets that might be appropriate under a minimal deterrence doctrine, including
power plants and oil and metal refineries. We find that, even when carefully
choosing targets to avoid cities, attack with a dozen typical nuclear weapons can result in more than a million casualties, although using far less powerful weapons can substantially reduce that number. Nuclear weapons are so destructive that much smaller forces, of initially 1,000 warheads, and later a few hundred warheads, are more than adequate to serve as a deterrent against anyone unwise
enough to attack the United States with nuclear weapons.
The president will need to maintain keen oversight to insure that the new
guidance is being carried out faithfully. We describe the many layers of bureaucracy between the president and those who develop the nuts-and-bolts plans for nuclear weapons employment to show how easily a president’s intentions can be co-opted and diffused. We finally offer examples of what a presidential directive might look like.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Whatever the utility of nuclear weapons during the Cold War, nuclear
weapons today threaten the security of the United States and the
world more than they enhance it. The United States should publically
announce a goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and establish a series of
policies and action to achieve that goal. Current nuclear doctrine is an artifact of the Cold War that needs to be fundamentally altered. “Counterforce”
targeting should be explicitly and publicly abandoned. While the ultimate
goal is nuclear abolition, a minimal deterrence doctrine creates a stable resting spot that minimizes the salience and danger of remaining nuclear weapons
and allows all of the world’s disparate nuclear powers to come into a stable
equilibrium before moving to the last step or denuclearization. Thus, minimal
deterrence should be adopted as a transitional step on a path to zero nuclear
The president must be continuously engaged in this transformation with
specific and direct instructions to the national security bureaucracies. Once
formulated, the president should publicly announce the changed role for
nuclear weapons and the new types of targets. Under American leadership,
the process should lead to engagement with the other nuclear powers towards
a global goal of negotiating verifiable nuclear abolition, which will enhance
the security of the United States. The new strategy can be carried out with
weapons in the current arsenal. No new weapons need be built.
Read the full report: (extern link; pdf).
Zurück zur Russland-Seite
Zur Seite "Rüstung und Abrüstung"
Zurück zur Homepage