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The Joint Chiefs of Staff
Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations

The Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations (Joint Pub 3-12) provides the military with authoritative overall guidance for the planning and operation of nuclear forces. Since the early 1990s the doctrine has been published in two documents: Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations (Joint Pub 3-12) and Doctrine for Joint Theater Nuclear Operations (Joint Pub 3-12.1).

Although detailed guidance for nuclear planning does not come from either of these documents, but from Presidential Directives, the Nuclear Weapons Employment Policy (NUWEP), the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan nuclear supplement (CJCSI 3110.04E), and the National Military Strategy Annex B (Nuclear), the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations builds on these documents in formulating U.S. official nuclear doctrine. As such, it's importance lies not so much in its dictation of new nuclear doctrine as in illustrating what it has become.

Although formally published by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is the lead agent for all these documents. Joint Pub 3-12 is a "living" doctrine that has evolved over the years. Four versions of Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations have been published by the JCS since 1993:

Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations (Joint Pub 3-12), March 1993
Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations (Joint Pub 3-12), December 1995
Doctrine for Joint Theater Nuclear Operations (Joint Pub 3-12.1), February 1996
Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations (Joint Pub 3-12), 2005

Hans M. Kristensen/Federation of American Scientists | www.nukestrat.com | 2004-2006

 

 

background article:

Hans M. Kristensen, "New Doctrine Falls Short of Bush Pledge to Reduce Nuclear Role," Arms Control Today, September, 2005.

Hans M. Kristensen, "Nuclear Futures: Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and U.S. Nuclear Strategy," BASIC, March 1998.

"Hans M. Kristensen, "Targets of Opportunity," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September/ October 1997.
 

Hans M. Kristensen