The Sun City Extended study was
completed by STRATCOM in 1994, during the Nuclear
Posture Review deliberations in 1994. This study
build on the earlier
Sun City study
from 1993, but contained important changes
compared with its predecessor.
The most interesting feature of
Sun City Extended is its much greater focus on
China. While the 1993 Sun City study focused on
US-Russian nuclear relations and only mentioned
China in passing, Sun City Extended in contrast
dedicated a total of thirteen pages to examining
various "China Scenarios." Two specific
"potential US/China adversarial
scenarios" were described in detail and
declassified in their entirety, one evolving from
a conflict over North Korea and the other being a
direct U.S.-Chinese confrontation:
1st scenario depicts a
- regional as opposed to global concern;
- calls for an "adaptively planned
response against NK;"
>>Not a full scale attack
- DPF (Deliberate Planning Force), NSNF
(Non-Strategic Nuclear Force), or
2nd scenario focuses on a
China/CONUS (Continental US)
- "implies a need for a major-attack
The increased focus on China
was important for several reasons. First, U.S.
nuclear planners removed China from SIOP planning
in 1982 to reflect the value of China as a
potential partner against the Soviet Union.
During the 1980s and 1990s, U.S. nuclear planning
against China was confined to a small number of
contingency options involving the strategic
reserve force and non-strategic nuclear weapons.
The Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP) for
Fiscal Year 1984, for example, ordered the
preparation of a contingency plan (CONPLAN) for
the employment of nuclear weapons against China's
power projection capabilities, but this
requirement was dropped again in the FY85 JSCP.
China's status as a potential
opponent to U.S. interests in the East Asia
region increased in the early- to mid-1990s.
Coinciding with political antagonism and U.S.
intelligence reports about China's slow but
steady modernization of long-range strategic
nuclear forces, some military planners argued
that it was necessary to begin developing more
mainstream nuclear strike plans against China.
During the 1994 Nuclear Posture Review, STRATCOM
and some DOD officials unsuccessfully lobbied for
increasing nuclear planning against China, and
Sun City Extended in hindsight may have been
intended to support their case by identifying the
need for a nuclear "major-attack response
plan" in a direct U.S.-Chinese
confrontation. It wasn't until 1998, however,
following President Clinton's signing of
Presidential Decision Directive 60 (PDD-60) in
November 1997, that guidance permitted STRATCOM
to formally bring China back into SIOP nuclear
A copy of the Sun City
Extended study can be downloaded from the right-hand column.