This research brief describes work documented in An Assessment of Defense Nuclear Agency Functions: Pathways Toward a New National Nuclear Infrastructure for the Nation (MR-442-OSD).

Excerpt: To meet the challenges of the Cold War, the United States built a large and expensive nuclear infrastructure that included unique skills and facilities. That infrastructure is widely dispersed, both geographically and bureaucratically. In the aftermath of the Cold War, nuclear weapons play a different role in the nation's security, and Congress has turned its attention to reducing the size and cost of the nuclear infrastructure. It recently focused on one element of that infrastructure, the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA), requesting RAND to conduct an independent examination of five options for accomplishing the functions of that agency. Options proposed were transferring DNA's functions to individual services and the Advanced Research Projects Agency; maintaining DNA as a separate agency but tailoring it to today's national security environment; transferring functions to Department of Energy weapon laboratories; combining any of these options; or reorganizing DNA to reduce its costs significantly.

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