由於核武科技及製核原料的擴散，美國在後冷戰時代面臨可能來自敵視美國的政權或恐怖組織的核子威脅。同時，美國也無法完全排除一旦俄羅斯因政經改革的失敗導致對美國核武威脅的可能性。因此，柯林頓政府的核武政策即強調外交與防衛並重。在核武戰略方面，強調嚇阻敵國對美國或其盟邦的各種型態的軍事攻擊，外交方面則繼續與俄羅斯就裁減核武進行談判，並強化有關禁止核武擴散的各種國際機制。然而，柯林頓政府所強調的核子嚇阻功能卻與其追求禁止核武擴散的努力自相矛盾，惟在目前國際核子情勢的發展並非很確定的狀況下，柯林頓政府的核武政策仍有其兼顧大幅度裁減核武，和維護美國國家安全及國際核子穩定等理想與現實的考量。 In the post-Cold War era, the United States still faces the possibility of a renewed Russian nuclear threat because of the uncertain political and economic reforms in Russia. The proliferation of massive destructive weapons has also caused the United States to worry about possible nuclear threats from “rogue”states and terrorists. The Clinton administration's nuclear policy, therefore, has emphasized both diplomatic and defensive efforts to reduce unclear threats. The administration also expects to begin talks on further reduction of nuclear weapons with Russia after the Russian Duma approves the START Ⅱ treaty. In spite of the progress that the US has made in recent years regarding nuclear nonproliferation, the Clinton administration's policy focusing on nuclear deterrence is quite contrary to its efforts to persuade other nations not to seek nuclear weapons. Yet, given the current international nuclear posture, the Clinton administration's nuclear policy seems realistic and instrumental in maintaining America's national security and international nuclear stability.