CACNP Executive Director: Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review is Dangerous and Irresponsible


Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Executive Director and former Congressman John F. Tierney disagrees with the proposals made in President Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review, which calls for the development of new nuclear capabilities and expands the circumstances under which they can be used:

President Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review seeks to add nuclear capabilities we don’t need at a cost we can’t afford. The United States already boasts the most powerful deployed nuclear arsenal in the world – one that military officials agreed in 2013 could be reduced by one-third with no negative effects to U.S. nuclear deterrence. Introducing new capabilities is unnecessary and will be enormously expensive. Introducing new circumstances under which nuclear weapons can be used, such as potentially during cyber-attacks, is dangerous and irresponsible.

Diplomacy, nuclear arms control, non-proliferation and the prevention of nuclear terrorism – all key issues in a well-rounded nuclear strategy – are hardly mentioned in the 47-page document. The Trump Administration is shattering a decades-old bipartisan consensus that emphasizes conventional options over nuclear capabilities.

My former colleagues in Congress must examine these proposals with great skepticism. Increasing U.S. nuclear capabilities represents a return to the twisted logic of the Cold War. This line of thinking must be rejected.  

John F. Tierney is the executive director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. As a U.S. representative from Massachusetts, he was chairman of the National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee from 2006 to 2010. He can be reached for an interview by contacting Anna Schumann at or 202.546.0795 #2115.