How Many Nukes Do We Need?

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 21 2012 @ 7:25pm

A recent AP article reported the Obama administration was considering cutting our nuclear arsenal to 300 weapons. James Traub isn't buying it. Adam Weinstein argues that 300 would probably be enough:

Last year, after the Air Force journal article was published and New START was signed, Paul K. Davis, a researcher for the RAND Corporation, wrote a white paper theorizing that the US could go down to 300 nuclear warheads and maintain its security objectives, assuming defenses and more conventional attack weapons were beefed up. (Part of his argument was that non-nuclear rogue nations and small hotspots are deterred as much by regular air and ground forces as by atomic warheads; does it really matter if we could flatten Tehran with a big mushroom cloud or with a bunch of conventional Tomahawks?) 

Joseph Cirincione believes that even that target is too high.