November 6, 2013
By Mathieu Rabechault
Washington — The United States plans to spend billions to upgrade a decades-old atomic bomb designed to stop a Soviet invasion of Europe, as part of a controversial project to modernize its nuclear arsenal.
Some lawmakers and experts dismiss the effort as a colossal waste of money that could derail arms control talks with Russia.
But top commanders and government officials argue the B61 nuclear gravity bomb needs to be maintained so other weapons can be scrapped and to ensure America retains a “credible” force.
“The B61 is the only weapon in the stockpile that fulfills both tactical and strategic missions,” General Robert Kehler, head of Strategic Command, told a congressional hearing last week.
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