On January 27, 2017, in one of my first acts in office, I directed Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to conduct a Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). After a year of thorough analysis and careful deliberations across our government, today, my Administration is announcing the conclusions of this review. These conclusions are grounded in a realistic assessment of the global security environment, the need to deter the use of the most destructive weapons on earth, and our Nation’s long-standing commitment to nuclear non-proliferation.
Over the past decade, despite United States efforts to reduce the roles and numbers of nuclear weapons, other nuclear nations grew their stockpiles, increased the prominence of nuclear weapons in their security strategies, and—in some cases—pursued the development of new nuclear capabilities to threaten other nations. Meanwhile, successive United States administrations deferred much-needed modernization of our nuclear weapons, infrastructure, and delivery systems.
The 2018 NPR addresses these challenges. It describes the roles nuclear weapons play in our national security strategy. The strategy is tailored and flexible to address the wide array of threats in the 21st century. It pursues modernization of our nuclear command, control, and communications, all three legs of our triad, our dual capable aircraft, and our nuclear infrastructure. The strategy develops capabilities aimed at making use of nuclear weapons less likely. It enhances deterrence of strategic attacks against our Nation, and our allies and partners, that may not come in the form of nuclear weapons. And, importantly, it reaffirms our commitment to arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, maintains the moratorium on nuclear testing, and commits to improving efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism.