High on the defense policy agenda of the new administration should be a review of the nation's strategic nuclear forces. Indeed, the Fiscal Year 2001 Defense Authorization Conference Bill on Strategic Forces directed the Secretary of Defense to "conduct a comprehensive review of the nuclear posture of the United States for the next 5 to 10 years." During the 2000 presidential campaign, a proposed reduction in the number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal generally was welcomed by the voting public, but the American electorate is less familiar with the dangers of inadvertently downsizing essential long-range conventional military forces as we reduce our nuclear inventory. Owing to certain stipulations in and interpretations of nuclear arms control treaties, there is an intrinsic hazard of throwing out the strategic "baby" with the nuclear "bathwater."
Think Dual-Capable Platforms
By Captain James H. Patton Jr., USN (Ret.)