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The nuclear weapons industry delivers long wish to Santa

Posted by Martin Fleck on December 15, 2015

One hundred thirty-nine nations voted -- on December 7 at the UN General Assembly -- to support the Humanitarian Pledge to "fill the legal gap" to prohibit nuclear weapons and work toward their complete elimination worldwide. Nuclear weapons are headed for the dustbin of history. But the nuclear weapons industry in the U.S. didn't get the memo! Indeed, the weapons complex delivered a whopper wish list to Santa and has hung up its stocking over the fireplace. 

PSR supports a nuclear weapons ban followed by an agreement among all nuclear-armed states to completely eliminate their arsenals. We view additional spending on new nuclear weapons and delivery systems as worse than worthless—a dangerous waste of taxpayer money that risks launching a new Cold War. This applies to the entire list of new weapons below.

The Pentagon, on the other hand, has ambitious plans to spend a trillion dollars over the next 30 years maintaining, upgrading, operating, augmenting and mostly replacing the entire "triad" of nuclear weapons delivery systems: bombers, sea-based missiles and land-based missiles. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the cost over the next 10 years to be $348 billion.

Right now, the Obama administration is preparing its final, "legacy" budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017. Members of PSR, our allies in the arms control community, and security experts such as former Secretary of Defense William Perry and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Andy Weber have asked President Obama to de-fund at least ONE of the new weapons: the "Long Range Standoff" cruise missile, called "LRSO." (Click here to send a letter to President Obama.)

But you could ask for more cuts too!

Here's a more detailed look at the Pentagon's ambitious nuclear weapons wish list:

$95.8 billion for new nuclear-armed submarines

The plan includes 12 new ballistic missile-carrying, "Ohio Replacement" submarines, called "SSBN(X)", to replace the current Trident fleet. According to a May 2015 Government Accountability Office report, the estimated total acquisition cost of the SSBN(X) program is about $95.8 billion in constant FY2015 dollars. (Source: Congressional Research Office)

$62.3 billion for new land-based missiles

The Pentagon hopes to replace existing, land-based Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles with new rockets the "Ground-based Strategic Deterrent" or GBSD. The Air Force wants to spend $62.3 billion between 2015 and 2044 to develop and buy 642 new rockets, 400 to be "operationally deployed." (Source: Arms Control Association)

$72.5 billion for 100 new stealth bombers

The Air Force is also asking for 80 to 100 brand-new bombers to replace the B-52 and B-1 and augment the B-2 stealth plane. This will be the B-3, also called "Long Range Strike – Bomber" or LRS-B. Northrup Grumman was awarded the contract to make this plane, expected to ultimately cost $21.4 billion for Engineering and Development plus $51.1 billion for production. (Source: Defense News)

$25 billion for 1000 new air-launched cruise missiles and associated warheads

This is called the LRSO-- Long range stand-off missile, to replace current ALCM (air-launched cruise missile) at a cost of about $25 billion for 1000 missiles (Only a fraction of them would be deployed, the rest kept in reserve.) (Source: Arms Control Association)

$255.6 billion Grand total for new strategic nuclear weapons (not counting cost overruns)


Daniel Kerlinsky MD said ..

We need an update on the proposals to rebuild the nuclear weapons manufacturing complex. Any new nuclear weapons production facility replaces contaminated buildings from the 1950s. New production facilities will doom us to another hundred years of nuclear weapons risk. No new weapon has entered the stockpile in twenty years. The current crop is aging. Missiles and delivery systems are one thing; warhead manufacture must stop. Warhead manufacturing factories must not be built. New and old facilities with manufacturing capability must be locked down.

March 28, 2016
Stephen Rosenblum said ..

Nuclear weapons are morally unusable and totally useless against non- state actors.

December 15, 2015
Tom Sharkey said ..

These suspect military expenditures are going to contribute in a big way to the ultimate disintegration of this already very economically challenged country not to mention how nuclear weapons are on the fast track towards obsolescence.

December 14, 2015
J. H. said ..

No more 'nukes', war is NOT the answer!

December 14, 2015
Shireen Parsons said ..

Leave uranium in the ground where it belongs, and switch to solar, wind and tidal energy!!

December 14, 2015

Comments closed.