According to a recent blog post on DoDLive, Admiral Mike Mullen “fully supports” the findings of the Nuclear Posture Review.
He writes, “We believe it provides us and our field commanders the opportunity to better shape our nuclear weapons posture, policies, and force structure to meet an ever-changing security environment. We appreciated the opportunity to inform it and to be informed by it, as a very collaborative interagency process went forward.”
He acknowledges that the review “reduces” the role played by nuclear weapons in the defense of U.S. interests, but it is “a reduction I wholly endorse.” The review “reaffirms our commitment to defend the vital interests of the United States and those of our partners and allies with a more balanced mix of nuclear and non-nuclear means than we have at our disposal today,” writes the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Noting that the review “retains the strategic triad of bombers, submarines and missiles that have served us so well,” Adm. Mullen posits that the review “further strengthens” U.S. interests. “It improves the United States command and control, works to prevent nuclear terrorism and proliferation, and suggests new dialogues through which to improve transparency with Russia and China. While it precludes nuclear testing and the development of new warheads, the review bolsters regional deterrence by fielding new missile defenses, improving counter-WMD capabilities and revitalizing our nuclear support infrastructure.”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates concurred in a recent speech, noting that “given the catastrophic potential of biological weapons and the rapid pace of biotechnology development, the United States reserves the right to make any adjustment to this policy that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of biological weapons.”
Gates also noted that the NPR reflects a shift in U.S. priorities away from Cold War-era threats. “The review rightly places the prevention of nuclear terrorism and proliferation at the top of the U.S. nuclear policy agenda.”
Adm. Mullen is also “encouraged to see these requirements so prominently addressed in the Nuclear Posture Review,” but also “mindful of the challenge. Without such improvements, an aging nuclear force supported by a neglected infrastructure only invites enemy misbehavior and miscalculation.”