Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons Updated July 15, 2021 Congressional Research Service



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Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1 Background. 3 The Distinction Between Strategic and Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons. 8 Definition by Observable Capabilities ..................................................................... 8 Definition by Exclusion. 9 Hybrid Definitions. 10 US. and Soviet Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons ................................................................. 11 US. Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons During the Cold War. 11 Strategy and Doctrine ......................................................................................... 11 Force Structure .................................................................................................. 11 Soviet Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons During the Cold War ........................................... 12 Strategy and Doctrine ......................................................................................... 12 Force Structure .................................................................................................. 13 The 1991 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives .................................................................... 13 US. Initiative .................................................................................................... 13 Soviet and Russian Initiatives. 14 US. Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons after the Cold War ................................................. 15 Strategy and Doctrine ......................................................................................... 15 Force Structure .................................................................................................. 22 Russian Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons after the Cold War ............................................ 25 Strategy and Doctrine ......................................................................................... 25 Force Structure .................................................................................................. 29 Changing the Focus of the Debate .............................................................................. 31 Issues for Congress ....................................................................................................... 32 Safety and Security of Russian Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons ....................................... 33 The Role of Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons in Russia’s National Security Policy .............. 34 The Role of Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons in US. National Security Policy .................... 35 The Role of Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons in NATO Policy and Alliance Strategy ........... 36 The Relationship Between Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons and US. Nonproliferation Policy. 38 Arms Control Options .............................................................................................. 40 Increase Transparency ......................................................................................... 40 Negotiate a Formal Treaty ................................................................................... 41 Prospects for Arms Control .................................................................................. 43

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