STRATCOM Force Structure Studies
As the primary architect of
America's nuclear posture, STRATCOM periodically conducts studies to analyze the
most optimal composition of U.S. nuclear forces to meet the requirements set by
the president, secretary of defense, and Joint Chiefs of Staff. Major studies are
often done in anticipation of future arms control agreements or major force
changes resulting from presidential initiatives. Others flow from the continuous
modernization of the forces that may permit restructuring of the posture. In
either case such studies present a unique picture into the secret world of
nuclear war planning and the assumptions that underpin deterrence.
The demise of the Warsaw
Pact and the Soviet Union combined with the emerging series of START treaties
fundamentally challenged the status-quo and predictability in nuclear force
planning. During the Cold War significant changes to the SIOP had generally been
rare and predictable, but the rapid and deep cuts that followed the ending of
the Cold War rendered the existing nuclear war planning system cumbersome and
inflexible. In response, STRATCOM set out to bring order to the chaos of the
disarmament process by reinstating a systematic analysis of the strategic
implications of deep cuts. The methodology and planning principles of this
analysis are apparent in the following six force structure studies released
Strategic Nuclear Forces: STRATCOM's
Sun City Extended
Post-START II Arms Control (1996)
Post-START II Arms Reductions: The
For a separate analysis of
these six force structure studies and their implications, see: Hans M.
Matrix of Deterrence: U.S. Strategic Command Force Structure Studies,"
The Nautilus Institute, Berkeley, California, May 2001 (PDF-format).
(An earlier description of
STRATCOM's force structure studies was initially published by the Nautilus
Nuclear Strategy Project)