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Nuclear Watch NM: U-S Nuclear Weapons Budget At Cold War-Era Levels

PHOTO: Nuclear Watch New Mexico says America spends as much managing nuclear weapons today as it did during the Cold War. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress.
PHOTO: Nuclear Watch New Mexico says America spends as much managing nuclear weapons today as it did during the Cold War. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress.
March 13, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. – America spends as much maintaining its nuclear weapons arsenal now as it did during the Cold War, according to Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico.

He cites President Barack Obama's $8.3 billion proposed budget for the next fiscal year for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

That's the agency that manages the nuclear weapons stockpile.

Coghlan says the U.S. will spend a fortune modernizing weapons that he maintains don't need to be upgraded.

"A number of successive studies have shown our weapons to be even more reliable than originally thought," he says.

Coghlan points out the problem with developing new technology is that the U.S. cannot fully test the weapons due to a moratorium on nuclear bomb testing implemented under President George H.W. Bush.

He says that the existing weapons are fully tested.

According to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, titled Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2014 to 2023, the U.S. will spend an estimated $355 billion modernizing nuclear weapons over the next decade.

Coghlan expects the costs to be much higher over time.

"The U.S. is going to spend more than a trillion dollars over the next 30 years on modernization of nuclear bombs, warheads, bombers, subs and missiles," he says.

Coghlan adds Obama's actions seem contrary to his words in a 2009 speech delivered in Europe when he stressed, "America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."



Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM