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Congressional Staff Briefing on Nuclear Deterrence

  • H-140, US Capitol Building (map)

The Congressional Nuclear Security Working Group (CNSWG) would like to invite congressional staff to attend an unclassified briefing on nuclear deterrence featuring senior officials from the Department of Defense (DoD), Joint Staff, and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

A potential nuclear attack against the United States and its allies is the only existential threat to U.S. security. Deterring such an attack requires a credible nuclear posture—a credibility based on effective nuclear capabilities. After 25 years of deemphasizing U.S. nuclear forces, most of the nation's nuclear weapons will reach their end of service lives in the 2025-2035 timeframe.

Dr. Robert Soofer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, along with other DoD, Joint Staff, and NNSA officials, will discuss the fundamentals of deterrence, the utility of the nuclear triad, the relationship between DoD delivery systems and NNSA warheads, and the FY20 budget request for the nuclear enterprise.

  • Dr. Robert Soofer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy

  • Mr. Greg Weaver, Deputy Director for Strategic Stability, Joint Staff (J-5)

  • Mr. Dyke Weatherington, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Information & Integration Portfolio Management

  • Mr. Peter J. Fanta, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Nuclear Matters

  • Dr Charlie Verdon, Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, DOE/NNSA

Co-chaired by Reps. Chuck Fleischmann, Jeff Fortenberry, Bill Foster, and Ben Ray Lujan, the CNSWG facilitates bipartisan cooperation to reduce the risk of nuclear and radiological attacks and advance solutions to the most pressing nuclear-security challenges facing the United States. In the 115th Congress, CNSWG members supported a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that directed NNSA to incentivize the replacement of cesium chloride, which could be used to make “dirty bombs” or radiological dispersal devices, from blood irradiation devices by 2027.

We hope staff are able to participate in this critical briefing on nuclear deterrence. Please contact Travis Wheeler in the Office of Rep. Visclosky (D-IN-1) at travis.wheeler@mail.house.gov to RSVP.