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Trump administration sends mixed signals on nuclear weapons budgeting

Trump administration sends mixed signals on nuclear weapons budgeting, Defense News, By: Joe Gould and Aaron Mehta  28 Aug 20, WASHINGTON ― Defense hawks in Congress are pushing a contentious plan to give the Pentagon a stronger hand in crafting nuclear weapons budgets, but the Trump administration has been sending mixed messaging over recent weeks about whether the change is needed.

The Senate-passed version of the annual defense policy bill would give the Pentagon-led Nuclear Weapons Council a say in the budget development of the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-autonomous agency within the Department of Energy that’s responsible for the stockpile’s safety, security, and effectiveness.

However, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities Vic Mercado told reporters that change is unneeded; the status quo between the Defense Department’s nuclear modernization efforts and NNSA is appropriate.

“I think right now we have it about right,” Mercado said in an interview this month. Nuclear deterrence falls under Mercado’s portfolio as an adviser to the defense secretary and undersecretary for policy.

The remarks could be read as neutral as the House and Senate debate competing proposals as part of their deliberations on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act……..

August 29, 2020 - Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war

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