In a surprise move in February 2009, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) asked officials to evaluate the prospect of moving the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) -- which is charged with guardianship over the United States' nuclear weapons complex -- from the Department of Energy to the Department of Defense. The forthcoming Strategic Posture Commission's report will likely suggest restructuring the NNSA as well. As the Obama administration leads the reconsideration of the United States' national security architecture, it also faces eroding American leadership in science and technology (S&T), and a growing array of dynamic national security threats beyond traditional nuclear deterrence. In early 2008, the Stimson Center's Elizabeth Turpen led a bipartisan task force of experts to provide recommendations to the incoming administration about re-imagining and broadening the vision for the NNSA Laboratories to meet the dynamic security challenges of the 21st century. Dr. Turpen, Task Force Project Director and Co-director of Stimson Center's Cooperative Nonproliferation Program, will present the Task Force's findings and discuss how a restructuring of the nuclear weapons complex will help to resolve the tension between President Obama's commitment to the vision of a nuclear free world and his assurances of maintaining a robust deterrent until such a world is attainable.
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