Clinging to nuclear weapons in excess of our security needs does not make the United States safer.  And the nuclear status quo is neither desirable nor sustainable.  It gives other countries the motivation or the excuse to pursue their own nuclear options.

The right way to reduce our excess nuclear forces is in parallel with Russia.  Verifiable mutual reductions through a new START treaty will help us build trust and avoid surprises.  We are working hard to ensure that the new agreement will continue to allow for inspections and other mechanisms that allow us to build confidence.  We are under no illusions that the START agreement will persuade Iran and North Korea to end their illicit nuclear activities.  But it will demonstrate that the United States is living up to its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty obligation to work toward nuclear disarmament.  In doing so, it will help convince the rest of the international community to strengthen nonproliferation controls and tighten the screws on states that flout that their nonproliferation commitments.

For the same reason, the United States seeks to begin negotiations as soon as possible on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty with appropriate monitoring and verification provisions.  A universal FMCT will halt the production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium for weapons purposes, capping the size of existing arsenals, and reducing the risk that terrorist groups will one day gain access to stockpiles of fissile materials.

But we must do more than reduce the numbers of our nuclear weapons.  We must also reduce the role they play in our security.  In this regard, the ongoing Nuclear Posture Review will be a key milestone.  It will more accurately calibrate the role, size, and composition of our nuclear stockpile to the current and future international threat environments. And it will provide a fundamental reassessment of U.S. nuclear force posture, levels, and doctrine.  Carried out in consultation with our allies, it will examine the role of nuclear weapons in deterring today’s threats and review our declaratory policies with respect to the circumstances in which the United States would consider using nuclear weapons.
但是,我们所必须做的不仅仅是减少我们的核武器数量。我们还必须降低核武器在保障我们的安全中的作用。在这方面,持续进行的《和态势评估报告》(Nuclear Posture Review)将成为重要的里程碑。它将根据当前和未来国际环境中存在的威胁,更准确地调整我们核库存的作用、规模和结构,对美国核武力势态(U.S. Nuclear Force Posture)的级别和方针提出根本性再评估。这项报告将结合与盟国的磋商,检视核武器在今天的威慑作用,审视涉及美国在何种情况下考虑动用核武器的核威慑政策。

As part of the NPR, the Nuclear Posture Review, we are grappling with key questions:  What is the fundamental purpose of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal?  Will our deterrence posture help the United States encourage others to reduce their arsenals and advance our nonproliferation agenda?  How can we provide reassurance to our allies in a manner that reinforces our nonproliferation objectives?

We believe now is the time for a look — a fresh look at the views on the role of the United States nuclear weapons arsenal.  We can’t afford to continue relying on recycled Cold War thinking.  We are sincere in our pursuit of a secure peaceful world without nuclear weapons.  But until we reach that point of the horizon where the last nuclear weapon has been eliminated, we need to reinforce the domestic consensus that America will maintain the nuclear infrastructure needed to sustain a safe and effective deterrent without nuclear testing.