I ask this because the Obama administration is in the midst of a rethink of our nuclear policy, and "sources" tell the Post that he is thinking of reducing our stockpile to around 1,000 weapons. It seems his security experts presented him with a range of options, and he is leaning toward the one in the middle, since that is the safe, responsible, adult thing to do. Just as predictably, the usual Republican hawks have denounced this, even though the reductions would save billions every year. Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona:
I just want to go on record as saying that there are many of us that are going to do everything we possibly can to make sure that this preposterous notion does not gain any real traction.Maybe he thinks the unused warheads will keep out illegal immigrants?
Most of the military is perfectly fine with cuts to the nuclear arsenal, since they can think of lots of better ways to spend the money:
James Cartwright, the retired Marine Corps general who commanded U.S. nuclear forces from 2004-07, thinks the U.S. should acknowledge that a large nuclear force is of limited value in deterring today’s major threats. “No sensible argument has been put forward for using nuclear weapons to solve any of the major 21st century problems we face,” including threats posed by rogue states, terrorism, cyber warfare or climate change.Cartwright himself is perhaps extreme in wanting to completely eliminate nuclear weapons, but most officers would rather have more missiles, drones, armored humvees, and golf courses than nukes.
If our long-term budget deficit is, as Republicans like to say, an existential crisis, why keep spending money on weapons that we never intend to use?