Executive Director Angela Canterbury responds to Chairman Mac. Thornberry’s (R-Texas) call for new nuclear weapons in “Top GOP Lawmaker: US Must Consider Building New Nukes.”
Thornberry and Putin Desperately Seeking Relevance
Rep. Mac Thornberry’s (R-Texas) makes a reckless gambit for a new arms race with Russia. His opening move is to sacrifice our safety and security for parochial interests. He appears to see new nuclear weapons as a jobs program—not surprising given that his home state would stand to benefit. Thornberry seems to have very little concern for the extreme risks involved—or the actual state of our nuclear arsenal. The truth is the U.S. already plans to spend nearly $1 trillion over the next three decades modernizing our nuclear weapons, despite repeated warnings by Pentagon experts that these plans are unaffordable. Our national security depends upon our economic security, which requires different spending priorities—not an “all of the above” strategy. Even the Pentagon has said that we have thousands more nuclear warheads than we need for a credible deterrence. Thornberry is clearly trying to make nuclear weapons relevant, but spending billions on these weapons is like investing taxpayer dollars in VHS. While President Putin saber rattles and seeks to regain the Russian relevance of the last century, Thornberry and other Cold War fans should not play into his hands.
Angela Canterbury is the executive director of two national nonprofit organizations Council for a Livable World and Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.