Testifying to the House Armed Services Committee today, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work unveiled a $270 billion plan to “upgrade” America’s massive arsenal of nuclear weapons, raising the question of exactly where all this money is going to come from.
Work, who has recently been making the rounds in calls for additional funding for various other Pentagon programs, notably laser weaponry for the Air Force to target China, insisted today that “Nuclear weapons remain the most important mission we have.”
Given the enormity of the extent nuclear arsenal, and the various cheating scandals the nuclear program has been racing, it’s hard to see how officials will justify this, particularly at a time when the US is supposed to be pushing for nuclear disarmament elsewhere.
Work, however, seemed totally ambivalent about where the money will come for, only seeking to make certain it doesn’t come from existing Pentagon funding elsewhere, and warning in particular he didn’t like the idea of taking the money from the Navy’s shipbuilding budget.
As a nation with one of the world’s largest two nuclear arsenals, capable of wiping out the entire human race multiple times over, the US inevitably faces questions about scaling back its program whenever these “upgrade” schedules come up. Officials continue to maintain that the US needs to keep the weapons sufficiently modern to assure that they all work if fired, but given the world-ending implications of even some of them working as intended, it seems they could easily do with less.