Do you want 1 Trillion dollars American taxpayer money to do this so called Modernization?03 Mar

Peace Train for March 4, 2016


The United States plans to spend over $1 trillion over the next 30 years to
“modernize” its nuclear arsenal even though President Obama solemnly pledged in his famous “Prague Speech” on April 5, 2009 before thousands of thrilled Czech Republic citizens: “Today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Whichever of the current presidential candidates wins the presidency will face this reality. How do they feel about nuclear weapons? Not a lot has been said in the debates, but here are a few examples of what some of the candidates have said.

Republican Candidates: According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, Ted Cruz would strengthen our nuclear arsenal, especially the nuclear armed submarines. Cruz was asked by Global Zero what he thought the right number of nuclear weapons is, and he responded, “.. .sufficient nuclear weapons to keep this country safe.”

According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, “Senator Rubio is probably the most hawkish presidential candidate. During a debate, he talked about the nuclear triad saying that, “…all three of them are critical. It gives us the ability at deterrence. All three are critical for the defense of the country.”
Jeb Bush, asked by Global Zero about the vision for a world free of nuclear weapons, said that it was an “incredible objective” and one that he would aspire to advance, but that it would first require nuclear weapons modernization.
All GOP candidates mentioned that our nuclear arsenal “doesn’t work,” including Donald Trump.
Democratic Candidates
Hillary Clinton was asked, “Would you oppose plans to spend a trillion dollars on an entire new generation of nuclear weapons systems that will enrich military contractors and set off a new global arms race?“, Secretary Clinton responded, “I’m going to look into that. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Bernie Sanders, according to the Center for Arms Control and Nuclear Non-proliferation, has said, “We have a $600 billion military budget that is larger than the next eight countries. Very little of that budget, less than 10 percent, actually goes to fighting ISIS and international terrorism.”
Additionally, Senator Sanders spoke of his support for a world free of nuclear weapons, as President Obama supported when first running for president.


Purely coincidental? What’s the message being sent? Pretty expensive telegram!19 Feb

24 hours prior to the opening session of the Open Ended Working Group in Geneva, the U.S. will launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from California to the Marshall Islands.

—–Original Message—–
From: Launch-Alert [] On Behalf Of Launch Alert
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 5:02 PM
Subject: [Launch Alert] Minuteman III Launch Scheduled

The following is a media advisory from Vandenberg AFB:

From: 30th Space Wing Public Affairs,


VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – – An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled between 11:00 p.m. PST Saturday, Feb. 20 and 5:00 a.m.
PST Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, from north Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

Col. J. Christopher Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority.

“This mission continues a long string of vital ICBM flight tests from Vandenberg Air Force Base,” said Moss. “The launch not only demonstrates the capability of the Minuteman III weapon system, but also the tremendous capabilities of Airmen who maintain and operate it. The men and women of the 30th Space Wing are proud to partner with the Air Force Global Strike Command team to conduct this important launch.”

The launch team, under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, includes aircrew members from the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, and crew members and maintainers from the 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, North Dakota.

The 576th FLTS is responsible for installed tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems on the missile, which collect data and ensure safety requirements, are met.
Launch-Alert mailing list
Message delivered to


16,000+26 Jan


North Korea, Nuclear Disarmament,20 Jan“>This Analysis of US nuclear weapons policy makes clear why it is so hard to move toward the Obama announced goal of Nuclear Weapons Aboltion. Of course it is the Congress that is the stumbling block making it unrealistic for a President to get these treaties ratified and setting up future Presidents to annul commitment to current treaties.


Action Request — write letters to your local papers–Kill the destabilizing Long Range Stand Off Nuclear Weapon.15 Jan

Here are 4 LTEs from Tri-Valley CAREs folks published over the past 4 weeks on the new, destabilizing Long-Range Stand Off nuclear weapon.

Here is the request. Many of you have key members of Congress in your area (i.e., members who are on the House or Senate armed services, appropriations or foreign affairs committees).

Your letters will sound a bit different from these – because they will have your local context and points. However, some points bear repeating, and so I am offering these four letters as “grist” for your letter-writing “mill.”

Please consider writing a letter to the editor now (and then have someone else from your group submit a second Letter to the Editor later, after the FY 2017 budget request goes to Congress in February).

Thank you! Together, we will put the stink on this new warhead and delivery system.

Peace, Marylia

1. The Independent- January 14, 2016

No to New Weapons

I believe we who live and work in the Tri-Valley have a special duty to pay attention to activities at the Livermore Lab.

In recent years, the Lab lost its authority to use large quantities of nuclear material because it failed to secure them. Consequently, the Lab’s role in the US nuclear weapons enterprise began to diminish.

Rather than committing to civilian (non-nuclear weapons) science, the Lab began pushing for a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile, known as the Long Range Stand Off warhead.

The need for this new weapon is highly questionable at best. In fact, our Senator, Dianne Feinstein, who is the Ranking Member on the Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee, said earlier this year, “I know of no compelling case” for developing it.

Senator Feinstein is in a position to halt funding for this weapon. I urge people to call her through the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

It is time for Livermore Lab to get out of the nuclear weapons business and to commit its significant scientific prowess to more pressing needs.

Scott Yundt, Livermore


2. Union Democrat- December 24, 2015

Cancel LRSO weapon plan

The Pentagon has requested that a new nuclear capable Long-Range Stand Off (LRSO) weapon be developed to replace an old air-launch cruise missile. The Air Force has plans to purchase over 1,000 LRSO’s. The development of the LRSO would increase U.S. nuclear air launch cruise missile capacity by nearly 200 percent.

The Lawrence Livermore Lab has been placed in charge of refurbishing the nuclear explosive package and developing detonators for the new LRSO. Sandia Lab, also in Livermore, is responsible for the construction of some non-nuclear parts and for systems integration.

The Federation of American Scientists estimate the full development of the LRSO including the W80-4 warhead to be as high as $20 billion. Here are a few facts about $20 billion:

• Stacking $20 bills, $20 billion would reach over 60 miles high.

• $20 billion could purchase 35 billion bushels of wheat at current market price. Just one bushel of wheat yields roughly 90 one pound loaves of whole wheat bread.

The LRSO is incredibly costly and it is a weapon that the United States can never use. The creation of these weapons is incredibly detrimental to the environment and increases the risk of nuclear terrorism in Livermore. In 2008, the Lawrence Livermore National Lab failed a terrorist exercise. Canceling the LRSO would be a significant first step toward fiscal responsibility and global security.

Joseph Rodgers, Sonora


3. Valley Times-Herald, Contra Costa Times

– December 15, 2015

Christmas wish is fewer funds for nasty nukes

All I want for Christmas is fewer dollars for a dangerous, destabilizing nuclear cruise missile.

Current plans call for designing and building 1,000 new nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The estimated cost is $20 to $30 billion. This is an outrage.

I call on President Obama to cancel this new “Long-Range Stand-Off” warhead and the cruise missile that would deliver this nuclear horror when he finalizes the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request later this month.

Further, I call on U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who sits on the appropriations subcommittee through which the nuclear weapons budget must pass, to make sure that no funds are used for its development.

Peace on earth and goodwill to all will not be brought into existence by another potential first-strike nuclear weapon, let alone one intended to be a stealthy surprise when it incinerates an unsuspecting target population.

Pamela Richard, Danville

4. The Independent, Mailbox- December 17, 2015
Nuclear Tipped

I oppose the development of a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile. Recently, I discovered I have unexpected allies.

William Perry, our 19th Secretary of Defense, and Andy Weber, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense, have written an analysis of this nuclear weapon titled, “Mr. President, Kill the New Cruise Missile.”

The analysis states, “Because they can be launched without warning and come in both nuclear and conventional versions, cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon.”

The estimated cost would be $20-30 BILLION! And you and I would pay for it with our tax dollars.

Fortunately, this new nuclear-tipped cruise missile can be stopped. President Obama can submit his next budget to Congress without requesting money for it.

Also, Congress can refuse to fund it. I called Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and asked them to oppose this destabilizing new nuclear weapon. Call them at (202) 224-3121.

I urge people to get additional information, including the full William Perry/Andy Weber analysis, at
Jo Ann Frisch, Livermore

Marylia Kelley
Executive Director,

Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)
2582 Old First Street,
Livermore, CA 94550


Closer to Midnight. Useable Nuclear Weapons!17 Dec

US Nuke builders lie about B-61 warhead–for instance


Stephen Cohen on “The New Cold War”07 Dec

From: Sharon Tennison []
I had opportunity to hear Prof. Stephen Cohen at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club November 18, 2015.
There was no transcript, only an audio version (the video is out now if you have time for an hour plus to devote to it). I felt it was so important for his passionate oral presentation to get out that I spent hours listening to the tape and getting it in transcript form. He made a few meticulous corrections––it follows.

It’s not all Putin’s Fault< by Stephen Cohen I am delighted to be here in San Francisco with you. The farther you go from Washington and the mainstream media, the better introductions you get! Some of you may know that the small group of us who have been protesting against the American policy since the Ukraine crisis began two years ago have been described in harsh and derogatory language as "Putin's apologists, Putin's useful idiots and Putin's best friends in America." Paris should have changed everything but for these people it hasn't. I clicked on the Internet this morning and there it was again. So let me begin with a word about myself. My answer to these charges is that, "No, I …. not you, am a patriot of American national security," And I actually have been since I started studying Russia about 50 years ago. I started out in Kentucky and then went to Indiana University, and old friends here today can testify that I was doing this many years ago. Along the way I came to a conviction, exactly how and why doesn't matter that American national security runs through Moscow. It means that an American President must have a partner in the Kremlin--- not a friend, but a partner. This was true when the Soviet Union existed, and this is true today. And it is true whichever existential or grave world threat you may emphasize. For some people it is climate change, for others it is human rights, for some it is the spread of democracy. For me, for quite a while, it has been the new kind of terrorism that afflicts the world today. These terrorists are no longer "non-state actors." These guys are organized, they have an army, they have a self-professed state, they have ample funds and they have the ability to hurt us gravely in many parts of the world. Everyone seems to have forgotten 9-11 and Boston, but Paris should have reminded us of what's at stake. So for me, international terrorism is the threat in the world today that should be America's national security priority. And I mean it should be the top priority for the President of the United States whether he or she is a Republican or Democrat. It is the existential threat represented by a combination of this new kind of terrorism, religious, ethnic, zealous civil wars––and, still worse, these guys desperately want the raw materials for making weapons of mass destruction. A cup of radioactive material in those planes on 9-11 would have made lower Manhattan uninhabitable even today. Terrorists today are using conventional weapons, bombs, mortars and guns. But if they had cup of this radioactive material in Paris, Paris would have needed to be evacuated. This is the real threat today. This kind of threat cannot be diminished, contained, still less eradicated unless we have a partner in the Kremlin. That is the long and short of it; note again I didn't say a "friend," but a partner. Nixon and Clinton went on about their dear friend Brezhnev and their friend Yeltsin; it was all for show. I don't care whether we like the Kremlin leader or not; what we need is recognition of our common interests for a partnership--–the way two people in business make a contract. They have the same interests and they have to trust each other–-because if one person violates the agreement, then the other person's interests are harmed. We don't have this with Russia, even after Paris, and this is essentially what I've been saying we need for the past several years. In return people say that my view is “pro-Putin” and unpatriotic, to which I say, "No, this is the very highest form of patriotism in regard to American national security." So I will make a few points today, very briefly and rather starkly, rather than give a lecture. I'm less interested in lecturing than in finding out what others here have to say. My first point is this: The chance for a durable Washington-Moscow strategic partnership was lost in the 1990 after the Soviet Union ended. Actually it began to be lost earlier, because it was Reagan and Gorbachev who gave us the opportunity for a strategic partnership between 1985-89. And it certainly ended under the Clinton Administration, and it didn’t end in Moscow. It ended in Washington — it was squandered and lost in Washington. And it was lost so badly that today, and for at least the last several years (and I would argue since the Georgian war in 2008), we have literally been in a new Cold War with Russia. Many people in politics and in the media don’t want to call it this, because if they admit, “Yes, we are in a Cold War,” they would have to explain what they were doing during the past 20 years. So they instead say, “No, it is not a Cold War.”

Here is my next point. This new Cold War has all of the potential to be even more dangerous than the preceding forty-year Cold War, for several reasons. First of all, think about it. The epicenter of the earlier Cold War was in Berlin, not close to Russia. There was a vast buffer zone between Russia and the West in Eastern Europe. Today, the epicenter is in Ukraine, literally on Russia’s borders. It was the Ukrainian conflict that set this off, and politically Ukraine remains a ticking time bomb. Today’s confrontation is not only on Russia’s borders, but it’s in the heart of Russian-Ukrainian “Slavic civilization.” This is a civil war as profound in some ways as was America’s Civil War.

Many Ukrainian antagonists were raised in the same faith, speak the same language and are intermarried. Does anyone know how many Russian and Ukrainian intermarriages there are today? Millions. Nearly all of their families are intermixed. This continues to be a ticking time bomb that can cause a lot more damage and even greater dangers. The fact that it is right on Russia’s border, and in effect right in the middle of the Russian/Ukrainian soul … or at least half of Ukraine’s soul …. since the half of Ukraine yearns to be in Western Europe, this makes it even more dangerous.

My next point and still worse: You will remember that after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Washington and Moscow developed certain rules-of -mutual conduct. They saw how dangerously close they had come to a nuclear war, so they adopted “No-Nos,’ whether they were encoded in treaties or in unofficial understandings. Each side knew where the other’s red line was. Both sides tripped over them on occasion but immediately pulled back because there was a mutual understanding that there were red lines. TODAY THERE ARE NO RED LINES.

One of the things that Putin and his predecessor President Medvedev, keep saying to Washington is: You are crossing our Red Lines! And Washington said and continues to say, “You don’t have any red lines. We have red lines and we can have all the bases we want around your borders, but you can’t have bases in Canada or Mexico.” Your red lines don’t exist.” This clearly illustrates that today there are no mutual rules of conduct.

In recent years, for example there have already been three proxy wars between the United States and Russia; Georgia in 2008, Ukraine beginning in 2014, and prior to Paris …. it appeared Syria would be the third. We don’t know yet what position Washington is going to take on Syria. Hollande made his decision; he declared a coalition with Russia. Washington as they understand in Russia, “is silent or opposed to a coalition with Moscow.”

Another important point: Today there is absolutely no organized anti-Cold War or Pro-Detente political force or movement in the United States at all––not in our political parties, not in the White house, not in the State Department, not in the mainstream media, not in the universities or the “think tanks.” I see a colleague here, nodding her head, because we remember when, in the 1970s through the 1980s, we had allies even in the White House, among aides of the President. We had allies in the State Department, and we had Senators and Members of the House who were pro-detente and who supported us, who spoke out themselves and listened carefully to our points of view. None of this exists today. Without this kind of openness and advocacy in a democracy, what can we do? We can’t throw bombs to get attention; we can’t get printed in mainstream media, we can’t be heard across the country. This lack of debate in our society is exceedingly dangerous.

My next point is a question: Who is responsible for this new Cold War? I don’t ask this question because I want to point a finger at anyone. I am interested in a change in U.S. policy that can only come from the White House, although Congress could help. But we need to know what went wrong with the U.S.-Russia relationship after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, and why…. or there won’t be any new thinking. And there will be no new policy. At this point, there is no new thinking in the American political-media establishment. There is a lot of new thinking in the European Parliament. There is a lot of angst in the French media and in Germany and in the Netherlands and even Cameron in London is rethinking.

The position of the current American political media establishment is that this new Cold War is all Putin’s fault––all of it, everything. We in America didn’t do anything wrong. At every stage, we were virtuous and wise and Putin was aggressive and a bad man. And therefore, what’s to rethink? Putin has to do all of the rethinking, not us.

I disagree. And this is what has brought the outrageous attacks down on me and my colleagues. I was raised in Kentucky on the adage, “There are two sides to every story.” And these people are saying, “No to this story, the history of Russian and American relations, there is only one side. There is no need to see any of it through the other side’s eyes. Just get out there and repeat the “conventional mainstream establishment narrative.” If we continue doing this, and don’t address the existing situation, we are going to have another “Paris” and not only in the United States.

This is why I say we must be patriots of America’s national security and rethink everything. For whatever reason, the Clinton Administration declared a “winner-takes-all policy” toward Post-Soviet Russia. It said, “We won the Cold War.” This isn’t true. Former Ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock during the Reagan-Gorbachev era, explains in his books what happened as he stood by Reagan’s side at every step of the negotiations with Gorbachev. The reality is that the Clinton administration adopted unwise policies in its winner-take-all approach. What were the consequences of these policies? There were a lot of consequences. The worst was, it blew the chance for a strategic partnership with Russia at a turning point moment in history.

The four U.S. policies that have most offended the Russians:

1) The decision to expand NATO right to Russia’s borders: It’s nonsense when we say Putin has violated the Post-Cold War order of Europe. Russia was excluded from the post-Cold War order of Europe by NATO’s expansion. Russia was pushed “somewhere out there” (beyond a zone of security). Russia kept saying, “Let’s do a Pan European Security Arrangement like Gorbachev and Reagan proposed.” The NATO-expanders said, “This is not military, this is about democracy and free trade, it’s going to be good for Russia, swallow your poison with a smile.” And when the Russians had no choice in the 1990s, they did; but when they grew stronger and had a choice, they no longer stood by silently.

Russia started pushing back, as any Russian leader would have done who was sober and had the support his own country. I don’t say this as a joke. By the end, Yeltsin could barely walk. He was pushed out of the presidency, he didn’t resign voluntarily. But the point is, anyone could have predicted this situation back in the 1990s––and some of us did so, often and as loudly as we were permitted.

2) The refusal on the part of the United States to negotiate on missile defense: Missile defense is now a NATO project. That means missile defense installations, whether on land or sea (sea is more dangerous) are now part of NATO expansion and its encirclement of Russia. Missile defense is part of the same military system. Russians are absolutely convinced that it is targeted at their nuclear retaliatory capabilities. We say, “Oh no, it’s about Iran, it’s not about you.” But go talk to Ted Postel at MIT. He explains that latter-stage missile defense is an offensive weapon that can hit Russia’s installations. It also violates the IMF Agreement because it can fire cruise missiles. Meanwhile we are accusing Russia of developing cruise missiles again; and they have begun doing so again because we are back in an unnecessary tit-for-tat arms race for the first time in many years.

3) Meddling in Russia’s internal affairs in the name of democracy promotion: In addition to funding the National Endowment for Democracy’s “opposition politics” programs across Russia and Ukraine––are you aware that when Medvedev was President of Russia and Ms. Clinton and Michael McFaul had their wondrous “reset” (which was a rigged diplomatic game if you looked at the terms of it), that Vice President Biden went to Moscow State University and said that Putin should not return to the presidency. He then said it directly to Putin’s face. Imagine, Putin comes here in the next few weeks and tells Rubio or Clinton they should drop out of the U.S. presidential race!

Are there any red lines left anymore when it comes to our behavior toward Russia. Do we have the right to say or do anything we wish? This extends to everything, and it certainly extends to politics. The White House simply can’t keep its mouth shut, being egged on by vested anti-Russian lobbies and mainstream media. We all believe in democracy, but like it or not, we will not be able to impose democracy on Russia; and if we could, we might not like the democratic outcomes that might result.

So ask yourself, is there a Russian position that needs to be carefully thought through in the aftermath of Paris? And does Russia have any legitimate interests in the world at all? And if so, what are they? What about their borders? Do they have legitimate interests in Syria?

4) My last point is a prescriptive hope (until Paris, I didn’t think there was much hope at all). Now there is still a chance to achieve the lost partnership with Russia, at least in three realms.

• Ukraine: You know what the Minsk Accords are. They were formulated by Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Ukraine’s President Poroshenko and President Putin. They call for a negotiated end to the civil war in Ukraine. They recognize that the conflict has been primarily a civil war and only secondarily a matter of Russian aggression. I don’t care what American mainstream media says––this has been basically a Ukrainian civil war. To put an end to that civil war would be exceedingly security-building today.

• Syria: before Paris I thought there was almost no chance for an American coalition with Russia. Part of it …. and I’m not big on psychological analyses, but at least in part it was due to Obama’s mind-fix about Putin. He resents him and speaks out about him in ways that are not helpful. But with Paris and Hollande announcing that there is now a French-Russian coalition, with Germany agreeing, and I would say almost all of Western Europe is on board, there is a chance, but only if the White House seizes the opportunity. We will see very soon.

• The false idea that the nuclear threat ended with the Soviet Union: In fact, the threat became more diverse and difficult. This is something the political elite forgot. It was another disservice of the Clinton Administration (and to a certain extent the first President Bush in his re-election campaign) saying that the nuclear dangers of the preceding Cold War era no longer existed after 1991. The reality is that the threat grew, whether by inattention or accident, and is now more dangerous than ever.

Last year, in an unwise pique of anger, Russia withdrew from the Nunn-Lugar Initiative which you may remember was one of the wisest pieces of legislation that Congress ever passed. In the 1990s, we gave Russia money to lock down and secure their materials for making weapons of mass destruction. In addition we paid salaries to their scientists who knew how to make and use these materials and who might otherwise have gone to Syria, Yemen or the Caucasus to sell their knowledge in order to employ themselves. Russia did withdraw but said it wants to renegotiate Nunn-Lugar on different terms. The White House has refused. After Paris, one hopes that Obama picked up the phone and said, “I’m sending someone over, let’s get this done.”

Unfortunately, today’s reports seem to indicate that the White House and State Department are thinking primarily how to counter Russia’s actions in Syria. They are worried, it was reported, that Russia is diminishing America’s leadership in the world.

HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE: We in the United States cannot lead the world alone any longer, if we ever could. Long before Paris, globalization and other developments have occurred that ended the monopolar, US-dominated world. That world is over. A multipolar world has emerged before our eyes, not just in Russia but in five or six capitals around the world. Washington’s stubborn refusal to embrace this new reality has become part of the problem and not part of the solution.

This is where we are today …. even after Paris.

Join the forum discussion on this post


/The Golden Rule — Sailing for Peace06 Dec


Western Demon–reveals truth about ISIS Funding06 Dec

The above link reveals a story that contradicts the narrative which neocons have constructed about Russia/Putin. They have construct it with military challenges via NATO moving East beyond Berlin, locating ABM systems on Russian borders, supporting separatist movements in Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltic States etc. and then portrayed Russian responses to such as aggression in opposition to human rights. Why is this important to preventing Nuclear War? Cause Russia has a nuclear arsenal equal to our own.

here is another piece of this puzzle. Really Poland? Wherever did you get the idea you need nuclear weapons to defend yourself? My My.


A New Nuclear Arms Race–Suicidal squandering of National resources says Perry03 Dec
Former SecDef Perry: US on ‘Brink’ of New Nuclear Arms Race
By Aaron Mehta 12:35 p.m. EST December 3, 2015

(Photo: US Air Force)

WASHINGTON — The US is on the “brink” of kicking off a new nuclear arms race that will elevate the risk of nuclear apocalypse to Cold War levels, former Secretary of Defense William Perry warned Thursday.

Perry also called for the breaking of the nuclear triad by dismantling the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) stockpile.

“We’re now at the precipice, maybe I should say the brink, of a new nuclear arms race,” Perry said at an event hosted by the Defense Writer’s Group. “This arms race will be at least as expensive as the arms race we had during the Cold War, which is a lot of money.”

The Pentagon is starting a major overhaul of its nuclear triad, made up of bomber, submarine and ICBM nuclear options. The Air Force is starting work on its Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) program, a conventional bomber that later could be nuclear-certified; it is also planning a new version of the ICBM. Meanwhile, the Navy is figuring out funding plans for the Ohio-class submarine nuclear replacement program.

In an August assessment, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments projects that it will cost more than $700 billion over the next 25 years to recapitalize the nuclear triad.


Future US Nuclear Spending Likely to Remain Strong

Speaking on Wednesday, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall indicated the nuclear modernization programs would be protected in the fiscal 2017 budget and remain a priority for the department going forward.

To Perry, who served in a number of Pentagon positions before becoming the 19th US secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, spending that money is foolish when the US is both short of cash for other programs and capable of a robust nuclear deterrence already.

The risk of nuclear war is exacerbated by the dismantling of the relationship between Russia and the US that had been formed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Without clear military-to-military communication between those two nations, the risk of an accidental conflict increases.

“Today, probably I would not have said this 10 years ago, but today we now face the kind of dangers of a nuclear event like we had during the Cold War, an accidental war,” he said.

“I see an imperative,” Perry added, “to stop this damn nuclear arms race from accelerating again.”

The greatest source of that danger, to Perry’s mind, are the ICBMs, which he said are simply too easy to launch on bad information and would be the most likely source of an accidental nuclear war. He referred to the ICBM as “destabilizing” in that it invites an attack from another power.

Because of that, he said, the US should look to break the nuclear triad and go down to a force of simply bombers and submarines – a major change in strategic posture, and one he openly acknowledged isn’t likely to happen due to US domestic politics.

ICBMs “aren’t necessary … they’re not needed. Any reasonable definition of deterrence will not require that third leg,” Perry concluded.

Perry did note that he supported the LRS-B and submarine programs as they can service non-nuclear missions as well.

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