Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Spending Cuts Could Force Choice Between New Bomber, Existing Fleet
Congressionally mandated spending curbs, if sustained into the future, would force the United States to either "retire older Air Force bombers" and sustain funding for the new long-range strike bomber, or maintain a larger fleet of aging nuclear-capable aircraft with few or no modern replacements, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said at a Wednesday press conference at the Pentagon.
More broadly, a decision either to trim back the military or put off planned weapons updates could threaten U.S. security strategy, the New York Times cited Hagel as saying.
The Defense Department formulated the alternatives in its Strategic Choices and Management Review, a four-month process to determine how to contend with funding limits imposed by budget sequestration. Though Pentagon leaders have said they were trying to protect strategic nuclear forces from the effects of budget cuts this fiscal year, every Defense program was "on the table" for possible reductions in the sequester-driven SCMR exercise.
One of the two options "would result in a force that would be technologically dominant but would be much smaller and able to go fewer places and do fewer things, especially if crises occurred at the same time in different regions of the world,” Hagel said.
The other alternative would essentially be "a decade-long modernization holiday," he said. "The military could find its equipment and weapons systems -- many of which are already near the end of their service lives -- less effective against more technologically advanced adversaries."
"These two approaches illustrate the difficult tradeoffs and strategic choices that would face the department in a scenario where sequester-level cuts continue," Hagel said. "Going forward in the months ahead, DOD and ultimately the president will decide on a strategic course that best preserves our ability to defend our national security interests under this very daunting budget scenario."
March 28, 2014
A new op-ed by former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and NTI Co-Chairman and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn on how to deal with Russia in the crisis over Ukraine, highlighting key areas of common interest where cooperation remains vital.
March 13, 2014
On Friday, March 14, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Five statesmen from Germany, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States call for the urgent formation of a Contact Group of Foreign Ministers to address the crisis and more broadly, create a new approach to building mutual security in the Euro-Atlantic region.
This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.