New Triad Force Structure on the Way

The Obama Administration will reveal the exact composition of the Triad—how many bombers vs. ICBMs vs. SLBMs—with submission of the New START treaty to Congress, “hopefully in the next several weeks,” James Miller, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, told the Senate Armed Services Committee at an April 22 hearing on the nuclear posture review. He said it would be “a recommended base line force structure” that, per the new treaty conditions, “could be modified later” to adjust one or more legs of the Triad without increasing the overall number of 700 strategic delivery vehicles specified by the treaty. Miller noted, too, that the Pentagon “conducted extensive analysis” of various force structures during the NPR and concluded “there were a range of possible outcomes that would … meet the requirements for US Strategic Command.” (Also see Miller’s written testimony and New START Signed)