Center for Strategic Communication

Since the middle of the Cold War, nuclear deterrence has rested on the premise of mutual assured destruction. Recent discussions over the role of nuclear deterrence with regards to the situation in Ukraine only serve accentuate the need to honestly assess the threats, capabilities, and needs for an effective U.S. deterrent. More than two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, U.S. nuclear deterrence has not adapted to the changing nature of the threats faced.

It is time for this to change.

The 21st Century American Nuclear Arsenal explores many of the issues facing the U.S. nuclear deterrent today. It includes sections on:

  • A 21st Century Nuclear Deterrent
  • Rightsizing our Nuclear Force
  • Proliferation and Terrorism
  • Ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
  • The Role of Lawmakers and the Media

It contends:

  • Reducing the size of the nuclear arsenal is beneficial for U.S. national security in the 21st Century.
  • America can retain a strong deterrent with fewer nuclear weapons given the changing nature of the international system.
  • The U.S. should reanalyze its non-proliferation apparatus, and consider a mechanism for a coordinated national anti-proliferation strategy.
  • The U.S. has an interest in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Technological advances have eliminated the need for U.S. explosive nuclear testing, but a resumption of testing by other countries would be a threat.
  • Lawmakers and the media should pay more attention to nuclear issues.


The 21st Century Nuclear Arsenal | ASP White Paper by The American Security Project

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