On Friday, 20 July 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates joined with the Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to submit to Congress a three-page statement on U.S. national security and nuclear weapons, entitled “Maintaining Deterrence in the 21st Century.”
The statement underscores the President’s policy for achieving “an effective strategic deterrent at the lowest level of nuclear weapons consistent with U.S. national security and our commitment to our allies.” The statement acknowledges that the Cold War is behind us, but points out that a new, diverse array of potential adversaries must now be deterred. At the same time, U.S. allies must remain assured of America’s continuing security commitment and capabilities.
To achieve this, the strategy paper states that it is crucial to have bipartisan support for a 21st century nuclear weapons strategy. The statement recommends that Congress initiate the Reliable Replacement Warhead program, and notes the importance of a responsive nuclear infrastructure for managing the technological and geo-political risks associated with drawing down the size of the nuclear arsenal.
The statement is available at: