The fundamental objectives of U.S. nuclear deterrence policy have remained largely consistent since 1991, even as the threat environment and the size of the nuclear weapons stockpile have changed. The current process for developing nuclear targeting and employment guidance has remained consistent. However, the structure of the nuclear war plan, and the categories and number of targets in the plan, have changed. DOD continues to exercise civilian oversight of the targeting process. The indirect relationship between the targeting process and DOD’s determination of requirements for nuclear weapons and delivery systems also continues.
“Changes in the Nuclear Weapons Targeting Process Since 1991”, GAO-12-786R, July 31, 2012.
For more background on the ongoing interagency effort that will hopefully update US nuclear targeting and employment guidance to comport with the current threat environment, see here.