Timeline The Historical U.S. Nuclear Narrative, 1989-Today

This timeline analyzes the evolving historical nuclear narrative while simultaneously juxtaposing it against an overview of the international security environment that provided the backdrop for, and directly influenced, the statements and decisions made about the arsenal between 1989 and the present.

Timeline Key

  • Role:¬†How has the fundamental purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons and their place in U.S. national security strategy adapted to shifts in the international security context?

  • Function: How do the U.S. nuclear arsenal and its associated infrastructure and delivery systems fulfill their role?

  • Posture: What size, shape, distribution, and readiness of nuclear forces is necessary for them to fulfill their role and perform their functions?

  • Priority: When faced with difficult trade-offs, are policymakers willing to make the difficult choices necessary to demonstrate commitment through the allocation of time, attention, and resources?

Timeline Key

U.S. Nuclear Narrative