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Biden team weighs killing Trump’s new nuclear weapons

Biden team weighs killing Trump’s new nuclear weapons

Officials are considering canceling weapons that were backed by the last administration.  By BRYAN BENDER POLITICO , 01/12/2022

The Biden administration is considering killing off several nuclear weapons programs that were greenlit by the Trump White House as an internal debate over the nation’s atomic arsenal enters its final phase.

According to nine current and former officials with knowledge of the deliberations, the Nuclear Posture Review, which is expected to be completed as early as next month, is not expected to make major changes to nuclear policy. Nor is it likely to recommend deep cuts to multibillion-dollar plans to build new intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-armed submarines and stealth bombers, they said.

But national security officials are debating whether to jettison a new nuclear-armed cruise missile now in the research phase, retire a Cold War-era thermonuclear bomb, and possibly even remove a new “low-yield” warhead that the previous administration deployed on submarines, the current and former officials said. Most spoke on condition they not be identified in order to discuss internal deliberations and private conversations.

Such changes would fall short of the overhaul of nuclear policy and programs that President Joe Biden has long argued would help blunt a nuclear arms race, namely a declaration that the United States would not be the first to strike an adversary using atomic weapons.

Yet halting the Trump-era “add-ons,” as they are called, are considered the most likely cuts if Biden wants to reverse the previous administration’s elevation of nuclear weapons in U.S. strategy, due to resistance from military leaders to big changes as Russia and China build up their arsenals……………………………………………….

Even for the relatively modest changes to the weapons portfolio being considered, there is likely to be strong resistance on the Hill and inside the Pentagon.

January 13, 2022 - Posted by | politics, weapons and war

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