A combination of flexible, diverse and resilient nuclear forces underpins effective deterrence. Intercontinental ballistic missiles on land and at sea, strategic bombers, nonstrategic nuclear forces, and a robust command and control system constitute U.S. nuclear forces.
Missile defense protects the United States, its military forces overseas, and its allies and partners from threats posed by hostile ballistic missiles of all ranges. The comprehensive approach consists of operations to neutralize, intercept and mitigate a potential missile attack.
All three legs of the triad are approaching obsolescence and require modernization to ensure effective deterrence well into the 21st century. This modernization includes nonstrategic systems – dual-capable aircraft and pursuit of a sea-launched cruise missile.