Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The US Should Cut Number of Nuclear Weapons

Cutting the U.S. nuclear arsenal can help cut the deficit by Walter Pincus Nov 12, 2012 Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cutting-the-us-nuclear-arsenal-can-help-cut-the-deficit/2012/11/12/350ddd1e-2ac2-11e2-b4e0-346287b7e56c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

[Excerpted] One of the ironies in Obama’s negotiations with Republicans to get support for the treaty [2010 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia] was his agreement to spend up to $200 billion to modernize the nuclear weapons manufacturing complex and build a new generation of strategic submarines, bombers and ICBMs that would last at least another 30 years. To cut nuclear weapons in the short run, he had to promise to be able to build more in the future. That also requires spending more than $150 billion over 10 years to operate and maintain them.... 

The Cold War contest over who was stronger, based on strategic nuclear warheads, is over. As a new Rand Corp. report says, it is time “to rethink U.S. defense strategic direction.”

....Cold War thinking is the only justification for the United States having more than McNamara’s preferred 500 weapons. They are terror weapons, used more for political and diplomatic prestige than for war. If we cut the numbers of nukes, we could reduce the triad to a duo — bombers and sub-launched delivery systems — and eliminate land-based ICBMs....

 Majia here: Pincus is correct. There is no legitimate reason for maintaining such an insanely large nuclear arsenal. These weapons can never be used. Cut nuclear spending now.

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