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July 26 , 2008

Forging a Consensus for a Sustainable U.S. Nuclear Posture


This report was produced by the CSIS Nuclear Consensus Working Group (NCWG) to assist the Obama administration in forging, during its second term, an enduring consensus about the U.S. nuclear posture. The report includes (1) seven individual statements from nuclear thinkers and practitioners across the “broad middle” of the spectrum of opinion on the role and value of U.S. nuclear weapons, the U.S. nuclear posture needed for this defined role, and a political strategy for sustaining the recommended posture; (2) a consensus statement signed by eight members of the NCWG; (3) A description of the process used by the NCWG to forge the signed statement, which includes the lessons learned from the facilitation process; and (4) A case study covering 2008-2012, which provides both a chronology of past attempts to broker consensus about the U.S. nuclear posture and the working group’s assessment of the lessons learned.

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