Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have lined up to quietly kill a cost estimate of the Pentagon’s three-decade nuclear modernization program, which experts predict will exceed $1 trillion. The vote was mentioned briefly in Politico’s morning briefing list last week but otherwise received no media coverage.
The Pentagon is already moving to refurbish its 1,900 deployed nuclear warheads and replace each leg of its nuclear triad – its land, sea, and air-based delivery systems. In October, the DOD signed a contract with Northrop Grumman to produce a new long range strike bomber, and its proposed budget plan sets aside hundreds of billions of dollars to buy a new generation of ICBMs, nuclear submarines, and cruise missiles.
In the mid-2020s, those expenses are scheduled to overlap with major purchases of aircraft carriers and of the F-35 joint strike fighter, leading to a surge in spending that experts have called “unsustainable,” “unaffordable,” and “a fantasy.”