Volume 2, Issue 13, October 13, 2011
Next month the congressional “super committee” is expected to propose major reductions in federal spending. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Oct. 11 that the Pentagon will reduce projected spending by more than $450 billion over the next ten years as a result of Congress’ debt agreement, and that "every program, every contract and every facility will be scrutinized for savings.”
The United States and Russia have conducted more than 1,000 notifications under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) since its entry into force in February, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller said Aug. 4 at a conference in Omaha hosted by U.S. Strategic Command.
By Greg Thielmann, Senior Fellow, Arms Control Association
The following piece was originally posted online at The Des Moines Register on August 4, 2011.
Washington is obsessed these days with reducing the deficit. The GOP presidential contenders crisscrossing Iowa give prominence to the issue as well. But even as they call for ever deeper budget cuts, they have been reluctant to look at trimming the $27 billion annual cost of operating and maintaining our bloated Cold War nuclear arsenal and the $125 billion planned for building new weapons in the decade ahead.
The first data exchange on nuclear forces under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty shows that Russia has already made most of the required arsenal reductions.
The Pentagon will provide options to President Barack Obama for future nuclear reductions below New START levels and for policy changes in areas such as targeting, prompt-launch alert posture, and retention of the nuclear “triad.”