October 14, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sean Harder, 563-264-1500
New Understanding of Security Threats
Must Drive Rethink of US Nuclear Weapons Policy
Muscatine, Iowa – A changing US strategic policy must be driven by a new understanding of the security threats facing the United States and the relative strengths and weaknesses in the measures adopted to meet them.
The overall strategic picture is trending along a set of particular pathways, characterized by:
Current policy will not be sustainable to achieve a secure nuclear future for the United States and the global community, and the United States must couch its nuclear decision making with the above indicators in mind.
A group of nuclear policy experts, academics, and NGO representatives met to discuss these issues at "US Strategic Posture and Conventional Capabilities," a roundtable at the Stanley Foundation's 49th annual Strategy for Peace Conference October 10-12, 2008, at Airlie Center near Warrenton, Virginia.
Issues discussed ranged from the current US nuclear doctrine to what steps the US should take toward continuing its support of a world without nuclear weapons. Stemming from the 2001 US Nuclear Posture Review, participants drew upon areas that need to be underscored looking toward a new administration that will develop its own Nuclear Policy Review in 2009.
Along with the growing realization of the above nuclear indicators, it is also true that military force in the 21st century is headed toward being a smaller subset of US foreign policy, and strategic utility of the unilateral use of force is declining.
In this strategic environment, roundtable participants achieved consensus that the main goal of US strategic policy should be to prevent the use of nuclear weapons, either by state or nonstate actors. Equally true, in this changing security environment, nuclear weapons in 2008 have no military utility, only political utility. The challenge is how to reduce the political utility of nuclear weapons in a manner that is strategically stable.
In order to move toward addressing this strategic environment, participants made a number of concrete recommendations for an incoming administration to consider:
Participants also noted several key questions that remain underexamined and ripe areas for future investigation. Among these are:
The Stanley Foundation will release a more comprehensive report on this Strategy for Peace Conference discussion in the coming weeks.
This document summarizes the primary findings developed at the event. Participants neither reviewed nor approved this document. Therefore, it should not be assumed that every participant subscribes to all of its recommendations, observations, and conclusions.
About The Stanley Foundation
The Stanley Foundation seeks a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on world citizenship and effective global governance. It brings fresh voices, original ideas, and lasting solutions to debates on global and regional problems. The foundation is a nonpartisan, private operating foundation, located in Muscatine, Iowa, that focuses on peace and security issues and advocates principled multilateralism. Online at www.stanleyfoundation.org.
|To request interviews, resources, or to get in touch with an expert for a story, please contact:|
|The Stanley Foundation regularly gathers and produces its own audio, video, and photographic resources from around the world. This material is available free of charge for use in broadcast and publication. Please credit the Stanley Foundation.|
|RECEIVE MEDIA UPDATES
|Sign up for media updates from the Stanley Foundation. We'll e-mail you press releases as they become available.|
|55th Strategy for Peace Conference
The conference, brought together experts from the public and private sectors to meet in a distraction-free setting and candidly exchange ideas on pressing foreign policy challenges.
Divided into roundtable talks, the cutting-edge discussions are intended to inspire group consensus and shared recommendations to push forward the debate on the foundation’s key policy areas.
The newest issue of Courier features an interview with award-winning author Anchee Min on China, peace, and human dignity. The issue also examines the need for more ambitious climate diplomacy in order to protect areas like the Marshall Islands and explores the critical need for preventing political violence that can lead to mass atrocities and genocide.
|Nuclear Security Video
The Stanley Foundation produced a 13-minute video looking at what needs to be done to stop terrorist groups from acquiring enough fissile material to make a bomb. The foundation talked with over a dozen diverse and distinguished experts from the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group and the Fissile Materials Working Group to see how today's patchwork of voluntary arrangements can be forged into a long-lasting system. Watch the video.
Our bimonthly newsletter looks at a Latin America network to stop mass atrocities as well as a seminar for journalists aimed at demystifying nuclear lingo. We also have a slideshow of our annual Investigation U. summer camp for students.
In the latest, you’ll find many extras—from upcoming events to multimedia resources. Sign up now
This Now Showing event-in-a-box toolkit Before the Killing Begins: The Politics of Mass Violence considers how early preventive strategies by governments and the international community should build much-needed capacities within countries, and make it harder for leaders to resort to violence. It aims to encourage discussion of how future efforts might better protect populations under threat, giving new resolve to the promise of never again. Sign Up.
The Stanley Foundation publishes policy briefs, analytical articles, and reports on a number of international issues.
|Watch and Learn
Stanley Foundation events, talks, video reports, and segments from our Now Showing event-in-a-box series can now be viewed on YouTube. To receive regular updates on our video posts, please subscribe today.