The U.S. Nuclear War Plan: A Time for Change

June 19, 2001

This June 2001 report from NRDC's nuclear program offers an independent assessment of the U.S. nuclear war planning process and the assumptions and logic of the SIOP, or Single Integrated Operational Plan, a Cold War relic that continues to guide U.S. nuclear war plans. Using customized computer software and a vast aggregation of declassified and open-source data to closely approximate the tools that SIOP planners use, NRDC has simulated a U.S. attack against Russian nuclear forces and attacks against Russian cities. The report includes a description of the history, evolution and working process of SIOP; detailed descriptions of the NRDC nuclear war simulation model and target database; and policy recommendations.