Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons Congressional Research Service 7 released at the end of the summit highlighted the continuing importance of US. nuclear weapons deployed in Europe and the nuclear sharing arrangements among the allies. Specifically, the allies reiterated that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance and that the strategic forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States, are the supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies At the same time, they noted that “NATO’s nuclear deterrence posture also relies, in part, on United States nuclear weapons forward-deployed in Europe and on capabilities and infrastructure provided by Allies concerned At the same time, NATO began to implement numerous initiatives in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and aggressive posture toward Europe. While some of these initiatives may strengthen NATO’s planning and exercise capabilities, they are unlikely to result in changes in the numbers of deployed nuclear weapons. 22 The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review echoed many of the themes highlighted in documents published in the preceding decade. Like the Strategic Posture Commission Report published in 2009, the NPR highlighted the imbalance in the numbers of US. and Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons and stated that Russia had increased its reliance on these weapons in its national security strategy It argued that Russia believed it could use these weapons to coerce the United States and its NATO allies to back down during a conventional conflict in Europe The 2018 NPR also echoed the Obama Administration’s NPR, indicating that the United States would maintain the capability to forward deploy nuclear bombers and DCA around the world It also stated that the United States would continue Obama-era programs to communicate with and consult allies on policy, strategy and capabilities The 2018 NPR also supported recent changes in NATO’s approach to nuclear modernization and planning, indicating that the United States is committed to upgrading DCA dual capable aircraft with the nuclear-capable F aircraft and that the United States would work with NATO to best ensure—and improve where needed—the readiness, survivability, and operational effectiveness of DCA based in Europe.” 26 However, while the 2010 NPR called for the retirement of US. Tomahawk nuclear-armed sea- launched cruise missiles (TLAMN), the 2018 NPR called for the development of anew sea- launched cruise missile (SLCM). The 2010 NPR argued that this system serves a redundant purpose in the US. nuclear stockpile and, although the United States remains committed to providing a credible extended deterrence posture and capabilities the deterrence and assurance roles of TLAMN can be adequately substituted by these other means The 2018 NPR disputed 21 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Warsaw Summit Communique i, Warsaw, Poland, July 9, 2016, para. 53, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_133169.htm?selectedLocale=en. 22 James Stravridis, “ Are We Entering a New Cold War Foreign Policy, February 17, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/02/17/are-we-entering-a-new-cold-war-russia-europe/. See also Aaron Mehta, “ At NATO, A Focus on Modern Deterrence Defense News, February 10, 2016, http://www.defensenews.com/story/ defense/international/europe/2016/02/10/nato-focus-modern-deterrence/80164930/. 23 Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review, Washington, DC, February 2, 2018, pp. 52 -53, https://media.defense.gov/2018/Feb/02/2001872886/-1/-1/1/2018-NUCLEAR-POST URE-REVIEW-FINAL- REPORT PDF. 24 Other analysts dispute this interpretation of Russia’s nuclear doctrine. See, for example, Olya Oliker, Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine What We Know, What We Don’t, and What That Means, CSIS, Washington, DC, May 5, 2016, https://www.csis.org/analysis/russia%E2%80%99s-nuclear-doctrine. 25 Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review, Washington, DC, February 2, 2018, p. 35, https://media.defense.gov/2018/Feb/02/2001872886/-1/-1/1/2018-NUCLEAR-POST URE-REVIEW-FINAL- REPORT PDF. 26 Ibid. p. 36. 27 Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review, Washington, DC, April 6, 2010, p. 28, https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/features/defenseReviews/NPR/2010_Nuclear_Posture_Review_Report.pdf .
Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons Congressional Research Service 8 this conclusion. It stated that the rapid development of a modern SLCM” will address the increasing need for flexible and low-yield options to strengthen deterrence and assurance and will strengthen the effectiveness of the sea-based nuclear deterrence force While the Navy has begun to study the options for the new SLCM in an Analysis of Alternatives, it did not request any funding for FY and it is not clear, at this time, whether the Biden Administration will support this program in the Pentagon’s budget request for FY.