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The Future U.S. Nuclear Weapons Program

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At this New America event, Dr. John Harvey addressed plans for the future of the U.S. nuclear weapons program including efforts to "transform" the stockpile and supporting infrastructure proceeding from the premise that the United States will need a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear deterrent for the foreseeable future.

While today’s stockpile -- comprised of legacy warheads left over from the Cold War -- is safe and reliable, some contend that, absent nuclear testing, the United States faces increased risk assuring the long-term reliability of our current stockpile. An emerging challenge is ensuring the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise, including the stockpile and supporting infrastructure, meets long-term national security needs.

In light of this concern, Dr. Harvey presented the case for developing and fielding replacement warheads for the legacy stockpile -- so-called Reliable Replacement Warheads (RRW) -- as a means to transform both the nuclear stockpile and supporting infrastructure.

Dr. John Harvey has served as Director, Policy Planning Staff of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) since March 2001. In this role, he advises the NNSA Administrator on major policy and program decisions involving U.S. nuclear weapons and cooperative threat reduction programs. From March 1995 to January 2001, Dr. Harvey served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Missile Defense Policy where he developed and oversaw implementation of U.S. defense policy governing strategic and theater nuclear forces and ballistic missile defense.


New America Foundation
1630 Connecticut Ave, NW 7th Floor
Washington, DC, 20009
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  • John Harvey
    Director, Policy Planning Staff
    National Nuclear Security Administration
  • Jeffrey G. Lewis
    Director, Nuclear Strategy and Nonproliferation Initiative
    New America Foundation

Event Time and Location

Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 1:15pm - 2:45pm
New America Foundation
1899 L Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036