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Deterrence Concepts Advisory Panel

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The Deterrence Concepts Advisory Panel (DCAP) was established by the Bush administration to oversee production of the president’s Nuclear Posture Review, which is a classified study outlining the country’s plans and strategies vis-à-vis its nuclear arsenal. Tapped to chair the panel was Keith Payne, a hawkish nuclear policy analyst who heads the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP).

In January 2001, shortly before the panel was established, NIPP released a report that is widely considered to have served as a blueprint for the Bush posture review. Several members of the NIPP study group that produced the report, titled "Rationale and Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Forces," also served on DCAP and/or went on to receive influential posts in the Bush administration, including: James Woolsey, DCAP and Defense Policy Board; Keith Payne, DCAP and deputy assistant secretary of defense for forces and policy (until 2003); Linton F. Brooks, DCAP and head of the National Nuclear Security Administration; Stephen Hadley, National Security Council; Robert Joseph, National Security Council; Stephen Cambone, assistant secretary of defense. (The other members of DCAP were Chris Williams, a supporter of the Project for the New American Century and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, as well as a member of the Defense Policy Board; Barry Blechman, a member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and the Defense Policy Board; James Miller; and Kurt Guthe. The panel was disbanded in Fall 2002.)

Regarding NIPP’s "Rationale and Requirements," the World Policy Institute reported, "In general, the NIPP report calls future security threats to the U.S. unknown and unpredictable. Therefore, the report concludes that the U.S. must maintain its nuclear arsenal, and the ability to design, build and test new nuclear weapons. The report asserts that conventional weapons are inadequate replacements for nuclear weapons because they do not have the same ‘destructive power.’ As a solution the report recommends the development of ‘low-yield, precision-guided nuclear weapons’–in other words, a nuclear weapon the US can actually use. The NIPP panel frowns on arms control treaties because, ‘US policymakers today cannot know the strategic environment of 2005, let alone 2010 or 2020. There is no basis for expecting that the conditions that may permit deep nuclear reductions today will continue in the future.’" (5)

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Sources

(1) Members of the panel were verified through IRC email correspondence with LTC Dan Stoneking, Pentagon Press Desk Officer, April 21, 2003.

(2) "About Face: The Role of the Arms Lobby In the Bush Administration's Radical Reversal of Two Decades of U.S. Nuclear Policy," World Policy Institute, May 2002
http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/execsummaryaboutface.html

(3) "Pentagon Wants Nuclear Weapons Hedge," BulletinWire, January 10, 2002
http://www.thebulletin.org/bulletinwirearchive/BulletinWire020111.html

(4) "Rationale and Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Forces, Volume 1," National Institute for Public Policy, January 2001
http://www.nipp.org/Adobe/volume 1 complete.pdf

(5) "Axis of Influence," World Policy Institute, July 2002
http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/axisofinfluence.html

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