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If the 2010 nuclear posture review (NPR) reflected a left-of-center compromise, probably to the right of President Obama’s preferences, the 2018 NPR is right-of-center, yet falls to the left of many of President Trump’s statements. While staying within the policy mainstream and containing considerable continuity with its predecessor, Trump's review does make a few notable departures.

Some key changes:

  • Consideration of additional sea-launched capabilities with lower-yield warheads
  • Inclusion of more than 30 references to nuclear weapons deterring non-nuclear attacks
  • Decreased emphasis on U.S. global leadership of the nuclear nonproliferation regime

Yes, but: The most important difference may not be in the report’s pages, but in Trump's increasing emphasis on nuclear weapons as an instrument of national power, particularly in a more complicated international threat environment.

Why it matters: Trump’s heated rhetoric bears little resemblance to the more measured declaratory policies in the formal documents. The president commands the nuclear forces and bears the sole burden of authorizing their use should deterrence fail. In communicating U.S. policy, it's his words that matter most.

Go deeper: An extended take at Defense360.

Rebecca Hersman is the director of the Project on Nuclear Issues and a senior adviser in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Go deeper

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

3 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.