Travis fired up an op-ed in today’s Washington Times responding to some of the hysterical whining on the right that the NPR and the Prague Treaty will compromise the U.S. nuclear deterrent. Note to Travis: Mad props on convincing the Times to let you use “the Prague Treaty” instead of “New START”.
The key grafs:
Yet some like to ignore Mr. Obama’s commitment to preserve U.S. nuclear deterrence for as long as is necessary. For example, Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, and former Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Perle accused the Obama administration of adopting an agenda that runs counter to keeping the U.S. nuclear deterrent safe and effective. Rep. Michael R. Turner of Ohio, ranking member on the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, expressed concern “that a zero [nuclear weapons] policy might lead to less program and budget support in the out years.”
While the new Prague Treaty will include on-site inspections and data exchanges that will provide key information about Russian nuclear forces, the treaty will not require the United States to significantly reduce its flexible and robust nuclear triad of land-based missiles, submarines and bombers. Indeed, the United States is close to being in compliance with the Prague Treaty today with its current nuclear force structure. The treaty also will not dictate how the United States should arrange its nuclear forces, a change from previous arms-control agreements. By “downloading” the number of warheads deployed on its delivery vehicles without actually destroying the vehicles, the United States will retain a hedge capability to quickly “upload” warheads in the event of systemic technical failures or an existential threat to its security. These attributes of transparency, flexibility and hedge capability in the Prague Treaty will bolster U.S. nuclear deterrence and U.S. national security.
The Obama administration is also putting its money where its mouth is. In next year’s budget, the administration plans to increase funding for nuclear stockpile management by 25 percent, add $220 million to study refurbishment of the B61 gravity bomb and expend $800 million for a new nuclear cruise missile. Between now and 2015, the administration intends to analyze alternatives for a next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile, spend $1.7 billion on the Air Force’s next-generation bomber and spend $6 billion on the next-generation ballistic-missile submarine. Once in service, the new submarine will conduct its last patrol in 2080.
Check out the full thing here.