In his paper, Los Alamos Associate Director for Nuclear Weapons Steve Younger states that "[i]t is often, but not universally, thought that nuclear weapons would only be used in extremis, when the nation is in the gravest danger.....This may not be true in the future." (p. 2) "Current plans call for [existing high-yield U.S. nuclear weapons systems] to be retained essentially indefinitely." (p.12) But Younger goes on to argue that "[s]uch a reliance on high-yield strategic weapons could lead to 'self-deterrence.' " (p. 13) This echoes statements recently made by Sandia Lab Director Paul Robertson as well.

Younger presents various future scenarios of nuclear and nonnuclear strategic forces (and mixes thereof), among which is the design and deployment of "a new set of nuclear weapons that do not require nuclear testing to be certified. Such weapons might be, but do not need be, based on simple gun-assembled uranium designs [like the Hiroshima bomb] that do not require a plutonium infrastructure......." (p. 15) "Plutonium pit production can be maintained at a small rate at Los Alamos, but any stockpile above about one thousand weapons will require the construction of a new large production plant to replace the Rocky Flats facility, which ceased production in 1989. Should the country go to a precision low-yield nuclear force that is based on uranium rather than plutonium, the cost of the large pit-production facility could be avoided, and the remaining high-yield weapons that did employ plutonium pits could be supported by a modified Los Alamos plutonium facility." (p. 18)

On a final note, Younger declares that "[i]t is almost impossible to conceive of technological and political developments that would enable the United States to meet its defense needs in 2020 without nuclear weapons." (p. 16) Clearly his statement flies in the face of international political developments of three decades ago, when the U.S. and the other nuclear weapons powers pledged in the NonProliferation Treaty to enter into serious negotiations leading to total nuclear disarmament.