U.S. nuclear arms modernization plan misguided – scientists’ group


Reuters – An Obama administration plan to spend $60 billion over the next 25 years to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal is misguided and violates the spirit of its pledge not to develop new nuclear arms, a Union of Concerned Scientists report said on Thursday.

The 81-page report by the independent nonprofit said the $60 billion for upgrading warheads is a fraction of what Washington plans to spend on its nuclear deterrent in the coming decades, on top of billions for new manufacturing facilities and billions more for delivery systems like submarines.

The spending comes despite President Barack Obama’s endorsement of the goal of a world without nuclear weapons and his negotiation of the “New START” treaty with Russia, which committed the former Cold War rivals to reducing deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550 each by 2018.

But Obama also has insisted that the United States must be confident that its remaining weapons will work as it attempts to negotiate smaller and smaller nuclear arsenals with other atomic weapons states.

And he has come under pressure from Republicans to address the problems of the aging U.S. nuclear complex.

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