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US Congress move to limit nuclear weapons spending is opposed by military officials

missile-moneyDoD leaders push back against move to limit nuclear spending, Air Force Times, 24 Mar 15  Military officials are pushing back against a move on Capitol Hill to reduce funding for the nuclear mission, including provisions to delay the Air Force’s next-generation bomber and cancel the nuclear capability of the F-35.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., on Monday introduced the Sane Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act, which aims to cut $100 billion from the nation’s nuclear weapons budget. The measure would cut the B-61 gravity bomb development and cancel the development of an air-launched cruise missile, delay the long-range strike bomber development, cancel the F-35’s ability to carry a nuclear weapon and defer development of new intercontinental ballistic missiles for the Air Force. The bill would also cut the number of nuclear submarines and cancel the construction of nuclear weapons processing facilities.

“We are robbing America’s future to pay for unneeded weapons of the past,” Markey said in a statement. “As we debate the budget and Republicans rally around devastating cuts to Medicare, Head Start and investments in research and science, it makes no sense to fund a bloated nuclear arsenal that does nothing to keep our nation safe in the 21st century.”

Congress instead should work to find savings in existing programs and the Pentagon needs to aim for a one-third reduction in its deployed weapons, Blumenauer said…….

A major part of this [air force] plan is the long-range strike bomber, which is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s. The service expects to award a contract for engineering, manufacturing and development within the next several months, James said. The bomber is expected to replace the B-52, which will fly until 2040 when it hits about 80 years of service, and the B-2 Spirit. The goal is a fleet of 80 to 100 new bombers.

March 25, 2015 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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