In his view “it’s important for us to not have exact numeric parity with the Russians, but I think we need to have relative approximation of that parity . . . (in) technical capability and capacity as well.”
• Will treaty reductions do away with one leg of the triad, the bombers and submarine-based and land-based ICBMs that make up the nuclear delivery system? Creedon did not confirm that any of the studies were reviewing elimination of a leg of the triad. But she said, “It would be a reasonable option to look at, even though it’s completely contrary to the department’s policy and to the NPR 1 / 82010 Nuclear Posture Review 3 / 8, which says maintain a triad.”
Kehler put to bed any idea that the triad was in danger.
“I continue to support a triad,” he said, explaining, “It does in fact provide the best blend of survivability and flexibility and responsiveness.”
• How far into the future does the U.S. plan for its nuclear weapons program go? At least through 2028, John Harvey, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear programs, told the Rogers subcommittee. The Pentagon and the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which runs the nuclear warhead and bomb building complex, has a 25-year baseline plan to “synchronize schedules for warhead life-extension programs, modern delivery platforms that carry those warheads, and initial operations for supporting infrastructure.”
That should take care of those who claim Obama is seeking to do away with nuclear weapons based on his 2009 Prague speech when he pledged “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”
What his critics always leave out is what he said after that applause line.
“I’m not naive. This goal will not be reached quickly — perhaps not in my lifetime.”
I doubt it will be reached in any of our lifetimes. But legislators, such as Rogers, continue to build little roadblocks for any Obama attempt to lower nuclear arms numbers, even when it comes to a signed treaty.
Walter Pincus reports on intelligence, defense and foreign policy for The Washingon Post and writes the Fine Print column.