Press Releases

Bicameral Group Seeks Update on the Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review

October 8, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) – Bicameral Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control (NWAC) Working Group Co-Chairs Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), and Sen. Merkley (D-OR) today led a group of lawmakers requesting an update on the Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

They wrote:

“We share the belief that the NPR is a pivotal moment that provides the Administration the opportunity to significantly reduce the existential threat of nuclear weapons. The NWAC Working Group will continue to advocate in support of taking steps to reduce the risk of nuclear war and encouraging diplomacy to halt and reverse dangerous nuclear competition. We have appreciated your willingness to consult with us thus far and look forward to having an open dialogue with you regarding the NPR process.”

The Members included questions to clarify the status of and recent changes to the NPR, requesting a response by October 28. At the time of the NPR’s launch in July, the Administration committed to regular consultations with the NWAC on their progress.

The letter was signed by U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Bill Foster (D-IL), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). Full text of the letter follows below, and a signed copy can be found here.

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The Honorable Jake Sullivan

National Security Advisor

The White House

Washington D.C. 20500

Dear National Security Advisor Sullivan:

As members of the bicameral Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control (NWAC) Working Group, we write to request an update on the Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). We appreciate your commitment to regularly consult with us on the NPR process. Now that it has been several months since the NPR was launched and the Department of Defense (DoD) has undergone organizational changes that have direct implications on the NPR process, we respectfully request a status update.

Specifically, we would like you to address the following questions:

  1. Which Administration officials are leading the NPR process and which officials are supporting them? Given the recently announced reorganization at DoD, who will now be spearheading daily operations of the NPR? Moreover, what other agencies and offices besides the Defense Department are involved in the NPR?
  2. Is the Administration using outside consultants (individuals and organizations) for the NPR? If so, we would like to know which experts are consulting on the NPR, to include paid and unpaid contractors.
  3. DOD has stated that it will consider a wide range of views for the NPR. Is there a plan in place for involving key stakeholders? How will the Administration ensure that all viewpoints are considered, including those who will advocate on behalf of reducing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy?
  4. Our letter of July 21, 2021 identified six priorities for the Nuclear Posture Review. Can you confirm that the Department of Defense has preserved each of those options for the President’s consideration, particularly as many of them were views articulated by former Vice President Biden?

We share the belief that the NPR is a pivotal moment that provides the Administration the opportunity to significantly reduce the existential threat of nuclear weapons. The NWAC Working Group will continue to advocate in support of taking steps to reduce the risk of nuclear war and encouraging diplomacy to halt and reverse dangerous nuclear competition. We have appreciated your willingness to consult with us thus far and look forward to having an open dialogue with you regarding the NPR process.

To that end, please reply with written responses to our questions by October 28, 2021.

Sincerely,