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American Nuclear Security Key Challenges for the Next Administration

The Nuclear Security Working Group is pleased to launch a new report based on an NSWG Workshop held earlier this year. Despite the uncertainties and realignments triggered by the 2016 Presidential election, the issues discussed here cover essential considerations for any new Administration, including the future of the nuclear posture, the current nuclear agreement with Iran, and the future of the global nuclear nonproliferation regime.

Key issues addressed

The next president will confront a different international and strategic environment than the one that President Obama encountered in his first term. Yet many challenges will endure, including

  • Deciding on key aspects of nuclear declaratory policy and strategic operational posture arising from existing and pending programs to modernize the US nuclear arsenal, and the concomitant need to articulate rationales for the US nuclear posture to allies and adversaries in light of possible changes;
  • The challenges of implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the “Iran Deal”) or, conversely, managing the ramifications of a unilateral American withdrawal from an agreement that may still enjoy the support of close allies;
  • Strong international demand for US leadership to continue to strengthen the security of nuclear materials and facilities around the world after the conclusion of the final Nuclear Security Summit in April 2016; and
  • Sustaining expertise and a constituency in Congress for pragmatic nuclear security policies.

This report discusses how President Trump might structure a review of the nuclear posture, sustain an international coalition for preventing Iranian proliferation, and bolster the international nuclear security regime.

Please click here to download the report.