John and I published an op-ed on US nuclear posture in the Fall 2012 edition of Veterans Vision, a publication that has “focused the experience and dedication of the leaders of America and veterans on the challenges facing the country.” Here’s an excerpt:
A recent study by the nonpartisan Stimson Center in Washington D.C. concluded that the United States spent $31 billion to sustain and modernize US nuclear weapons in 2011, using a narrowly defined definition of nuclear weapons that does not include significant nuclear weapons clean up costs or about $10 billion annually on missile defense.These costs could increase significantly over the next decade in light of current plans to build new nuclear weapons delivery systems (i.e. missiles and bombers) and facilities to support warhead production.
Should the Pentagon move toward additional reductions, it could reduce the need for some of this spending, thereby freeing up funding for soldiers pay, operations and maintenance accounts, and weapons and technology to meet the threats of the 21st Century.
In short, nuclear weapons reductions under the New START treaty are clearly in American security interests, and further cuts, ideally negotiated with Russia and eventually other nuclear powers, are squarely in the national interest.
Read the whole thing here.