Pentagon Plan Calls for a $9 Billion Surge in Nuclear Spending by 2025

The Pentagon’s five-year nuclear weapons plan calls for requesting at least $167 billion through 2025 — building from the $29 billion sought for next year to $38 billion, according to previously undisclosed figures.

The commitment includes research, development, procurement, sustainment and operations. It reflects a major boost to an effort started under President Barack Obama to replace aging nuclear systems, such as Minuteman III missiles and command and control systems.

It doesn’t include funding for the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which is requesting $19.8 billion for fiscal 2021, including $15.6 billion for nuclear weapons activities.

Congressional Democrats have been generally supportive of increased nuclear weapons spending, but Defense Secretary Mark Esper is likely to be questioned about the size and scope of the five-year plan when he testifies Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee.

Esper is also likely to face bipartisan opposition from the defense-focused committee on President Donald Trump’s plan to shift $3.8 billion from Pentagon programs to his wall on the Mexican border.

The Defense Department’s five-year plan on nuclear programs calls for $29 billion for fiscal 2021, $30 billion in 2022 and $33 billion in 2023, before jumping to $37 billion in 2024 and $38 billion in 2025.

The plan includes $25 billion for research and procurement — but not support and operations for — the new Columbia-class intercontinental ballistic missile submarine that begins construction this year, $24 billion for improved nuclear command and control and $23 billion for the Air Force’s B-21 bomber.

“What you are seeing here is the beginning of a long overdue modernization of the U.S. nuclear triad,” Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council deputy assistant who followed nuclear issues and is now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. “At approximately 6% of the U.S. defense budget, this is a modest investment in the ultimate guarantee of American and allied security.”

Still, “most experts believe the DOD budget will be fairly flat over the next several years” so “if spending on the nuclear weapons enterprise increases by $9 billion over that time, and totals $167 billion, what are the trade-offs in other procurement programs?” asked Amy Woolf, a senior nuclear weapons specialist for the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. “What will the Pentagon have to give up to support this increase” in funding for nuclear weapons.

The post Pentagon Plan Calls for a $9 Billion Surge in Nuclear Spending by 2025 appeared first on TIME.

Visit the USSA News store!
Click this link for the original source of this article.
Author: TIME

This content is courtesy of, and owned and copyrighted by, and its author. This content is made available by use of the public RSS feed offered by the host site and is used for educational purposes only. If you are the author or represent the host site and would like this content removed now and in the future, please contact the administrator by using the contact form located in the top-left menu. Your request will be immediately honored. Please visit for more terrific, conservative content. The owner of this website may be paid to recommend American Bullion. The content of this website, including the positive review of American Bullion, the negative review of its competitors, and any other information may not be independent or neutral.