Nuclear Deterrence and Defense
Air Force missile combat crewmembers with the 740th Missile Squadron man a missile alert facility At Minot Air Force Base, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo)
To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same. Make no mistake: As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies.
[ President Barack Obama, speaking in Prague, Czech Republic, April 4, 2009 ]
More than 60 years after the end of World War II, and after two decades following the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons continue to pose a very real threat to the United States and its allies. Rogue nations, terrorists and others dream of using nuclear weapons against us. To that end, the United States has maintained a nuclear stockpile as the ultimate deterrent against such an attack.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency plays a key role supporting the nation’s nuclear security and defense. Its work in this area is multifaceted in nature, focusing both on the U.S.’s strategic deterrent and on defending against the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
Ensuring a Reliable Deterrent
To be a persuasive deterrent against countries that wish us harm, the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal must be safe, secure, ready and reliable. DTRA supports this critical requirement by conducting Nuclear Surety inspections of military nuclear units to ensure they meet the highest safety and readiness standards in the world.
Defending Against the Nuclear Threat
In addition to ensuring the surety of the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal, DTRA also works to address the threat posed by nuclear weapons.