The United States currently plans to spend some $355 billion to maintain and rebuild its Cold War-era nuclear arsenal over the next decade, even as the overall U.S. defense budget is declining and U.S. military planners and the president have determined that the United States can deter nuclear threats against the United States and its allies with far fewer nuclear weapons.
This report argues that the increasingly high cost of nuclear weapons, combined with shrinking budgets and stockpiles, should compel the executive branch, Congress, and the American public to rethink current plans to rebuild U.S. nuclear forces in the years ahead.
The Unaffordable Arsenal outlines common sense ways to save roughly $70 billion over the next decade across all three legs of the triad by scaling-back, delaying, and/or deferring expensive new delivery systems and by taking a more disciplined, straightforward approach to nuclear warhead life-extensions and refurbishments.
Table of Contents
Tables and Graphs
A: Current and Planned U.S. Nuclear Forces
B: Final New START Force Structure
C: Estimated Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2014-2023
D: Nuclear Weapons Budget Savings Options, 2014-2023
E: Planned Strategic Sub Deployments
F: The B61 Bomb
G: The '3+2' Warhead Plan
H: U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile, 1962-2013
I: Estimated Global Nuclear Warhead Inventories, 2014