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However, other national security specialists think adopting a “no-first-use” policy is destabilizing because it undermines the decades-old policy of deterring attacks with a large arsenal.

The New York Times, quoting senior Pentagon officials, reported Dec. 19 that the strategic review is expected to shift the focus of strategic nuclear policy toward stopping nuclear terrorism.

That goal is said to be more in line with Mr. Obama’s announced goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons. The president also said nuclear weapons will be needed as long as other states pose a threat of nuclear attack.