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Key Issues Nuclear Weapons History Presidential Policies Bush Nuclear Events

President George H. W. Bush - Nuclear Events


Bush stops deploying nuclear depth bombs and ship-to-air warheads.

Bush authorizes Aqueduct Nuclear Test Program.

Bush reaffirms US Space Policy, prioritizing US security.

Bush and Gorbachev (USSR) sign new protocols to the 1974 Threshold Test Ban Treaty (ratifying it on 9/25/1990) and Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty (PNET) provide for advance notification and onsite inspection of tests above 35 kilotons.

Bush authorizes the Sculpin Nuclear Test Program.

January 1991
Bush renews a SDI project, calling for 1000 missile-navigation satellites.

Using pens made from melted down SS-20 and Pershing II missiles, Bush and Gorbachev (USSR) sign START II, cutting U.S. long-range nuclear warheads by 15% and the Sovietís by 25%.

Bush unilaterally cuts tactical nuclear weapons, ending the MX and (short range attack missiles) SCRAM II programs as well as taking B-1B and B-52 bombers off hair trigger alert status.

November 1991
Senators Sam Nunn (D-GA) and Richard Lugar (D-IN) initiate the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991 that Bush and Gorbachev (USSR) agree to, forming the basis for the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program that aims to manage and/or destroy the nuclear capacities of former Soviet states. As of 1996, the CTR is managed by the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, and Department of State. Congress is expected to pay $1 billion to CTR between 2000 and 2010.

Lugar and Nunn

Bush announces in his State of the Union Address t he cancellation of the Midgetman Missile Program; no additional production of W-88 warheads or MX2 test missiles; t ermination of the B-2 bomber program; and termination of production of the advanced cruise missile.

Bush postpones production of nuclear warheads for Trident II and W-88.

May 1992
Bush and Russian President Yeltsin agree to Lisbon Protocol.

Bush and Yeltsin ( Russia ) agree on the Joint Understanding, which forms the basis for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II (START II).

Bush and Yeltsin

The US launches 45 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraq ’s Zaafaraniyeh industrial complex, which is believed to be producing uranium enrichment equipment.

October 1993
The Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991 becomes the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act of 1993, placing more emphasis on on removing warheads, destroying nuclear sites, and demilitarizing the region.

Nuclear Stockpiles