A new article and interactive by Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), examines the difficult choices that must be made about the most comprehensive modernization of the U.S. nuclear triad since the 1980s. The cost of each of the modernization programs, for the triad’s submarines, bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), will run approximately $100 billion per leg and will need to be completed on a tight timeline—before old systems begin to age in the late 2020s. Officials in the Obama administration expressed concerns about costs of the modernization programs. Now the Trump administration, which is beginning its own Nuclear Posture Review and proposing its own budgets, faces difficult decisions on how to move forward.
Lewis’ analysis outlines options and considerations. The interactive highlights the three legs and components of the triad and gives readers the chance to watch videos, read about cost details and interact with 3D models of the systems.