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United States Strategic Command

U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) builds and maintains America's nuclear strike plans, including the Single Operational Strategic Plan (SIOP), now called OPLAN 8044 (see brief). As such the command has a strong influence on the formulation of the U.S. nuclear policy and arms control agenda.

STRATCOM was created in June 1992 in an attempt to provide a "single voice" of advice and analysis to the President and Secretary of Defense on nuclear planning and policy. The creation of STRATCOM brought overall responsibility for planning and execution of Air Force and Navy nuclear plans "under one hat" with the services continuing to operate and maintain the forces. At the same time a nuclear "super-command" was created which has strong influence on U.S. nuclear policy and the future evolution of the nuclear posture.

Beyond the day-to-day maintenance of nuclear strike plan and target databases, STRATCOM's force was its expertise in long-term analysis of deterrence and how the nuclear posture related to arms control efforts. As such the command played a prominent role in the START arms control agreements, 1994 Nuclear Posture Review, and most recently the Bush administration's Nuclear Posture Review from 2001.

STRATCOM also serves as the host to one of the most important and influential advisory groups, the Strategic Advisory Group (SAG), which provides direct advice to the Commander in Chief of STRATCOM on a variety of issues ranging from certification and reliability of individual warheads, deterrence policy, intelligence and reconnaissance, and the industrial support of the posture. Access the following groups of documents:

» Global Strike
Nuclear Forces Structure Studies
» Strategic Advisory Group (SAG)

© Hans M. Kristensen | www.nukestrat.com | 2004



  © Hans M. Kristensen