Talk of investing “vast amounts” on America’s nuclear arsenal was seen as sort of a throwaway line in President Trump’s Afghanistan speech last Monday, buy in the time since then, major new contracts have been handed out showing he’s doing exactly that.
Doling out new contracts to Lockheed Martin and Raytheon on the creation of a new model of nuclear cruise missile is a smallish, but telling step on this program, as these missiles were seen as among the least essential in America’s arsenal, and already have been funded despite the Pentagon’s willingness to delay them in favor of more immediately useful gear.
With the overall cost of the nuclear modernization scheme now estimated at $1 trillion, with most analysts agreeing it would doubtless far exceed that in the long run, there was some expectation that the US might approach at least a few cuts on the margins when approving such a program, to at least give the illusion of fiscal responsibility. With the cruise missiles fully funded, that’s clearly not going to be the case.
Instead, President Trump’s talk about ensuring that the US has the best nuclear arsenal on the planet, despite how little nuclear superiority means among the largest nuclear powers, appears to be getting put into practice, with all the budget wrecking implications it’s been expected to have.