A draft version of the final report from the Trump administration’s nuclear posture review was published by the Huffington Post on January 11, and it reveals that U.S. strategic plans will change barely at all from what the president’s predecessor intended. News coverage has made it sound like the proposed posture is a significant departure from the past, but it actually hews closely to the core principles followed by every administration since Eisenhower’s. The U.S. will continue to maintain a nuclear triad that deters aggression; it will continue to adhere to the terms of nuclear arms control agreements; and it will continue to provide nuclear security guarantees to allies. If there is going to be a major departure in the U.S. strategic posture under Trump, it will be in bolstering missile defense of the homeland. Ironically, that step would make the current offensively-based approach to deterrence more credible. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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