The headline of Peter Baker’s New York Times article “Obama Expands Modernization of Nuclear Arsenal” could not be more misleading.
The article touts the release of a presidential report to Congress outlining the President’s plan to spend $80 billion. What the article does not tell you is that in all that spending there is no commitment from the White House to modernize nuclear weapons, all the President plans on doing is dumping tens-of-billions of dollars into federal labs and universities without spelling out a clear military mission their activities are to support and to by-off Senators for their support in voting for the New START deal with Russia.
Other than a wildly misleading title, there is no news here. The Nuclear Posture Review that the Pentagon sent to Congress last month declared that the military would dump more money into upgrading Defense Department, Department of Energy and laboratory infrastructure: “The United States will modernize the nuclear weapons infrastructure.” A Pentagon fact sheet states: “The United States will modernize the nuclear weapons infrastructure, sustain the science, technology, and engineering base, invest in human capital, and ensure senior leadership focus.”
Obama, in fact, has specifically rejected modernizing the US nuclear arsenal. Indeed, the goal of spending more money on infrastructure is “facilitate further reductions,” not develop the nuclear arsenal needed to protect and defend America.
For more, see The New START Working Group’s Independent Assessment of New START Treaty.