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2. We should get to work now - rapidly and urgently - on doing our homework on the problems, challenges, conundrums, paradoxes and complications of achieving stable nuclear deterrence in a multiplayer setting. And we should be prepared for that research to tell us things we don’t really want to hear about its implications for future U.S. nuclear force requirements.

3. We should get on with revitalizing the U.S. nuclear-weapons production capability - negotiated by Senate Republicans as the price of ratifying New START. We should ensure that we are sustaining the industrial base for our nuclear delivery systems, in case the proliferated, multiplayer nuclear environment ahead requires larger or different nuclear capabilities than our Cold War legacy forces.

4. We should resolve now that U.S. nuclear force levels have reached a plateau - and sustain them without further reductions until we have worked through the implications and requirements of the new world we’re entering.

It is time to stop assuming that “less is more” for security in a proliferated world.

G. Philip Hughes, former executive secretary of the National Security Council, has held appointments in the departments of Defense, State and Commerce. Mark Davis drafted START I addresses as a White House speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush and is author of “Digital Assassination” (St. Martin’s Press, 2011). Both are senior directors of the White House Writers Group.