Pentagon Team Pushes Dangers of Old Nukes in Seeking Funding for New Ones

Missiles risk accidental launch

Given the enormity of the US nuclear arsenal, arguments for more funding are a challenge, as there is no real case to be made that they need more such weapons. The angle now appears to be that the newer versions would be somewhat safer.

An unclassified white paper sent to Congress earlier this year warned that land-based missiles, because of their design to launch minutes after an enemy attack, were vulnerable to being fired by mistake. New missiles would presumably correct this.

Absent in official assessments is that the US has had those nukes for decades without any such accidents. This is coupled with the Pentagon also wanting more powerful nukes as part of the deal, costing even more.

If this argument proves successful, it may also encourage the Pentagon to slip flaws into their future designs as a way to ensure that they can get more funding for an ultimate successor.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.