Midlands Voices: Let’s modernize our nuclear Triad and boost our security | Columnists
We must maintain a nuclear force that is modern, ready, reliable and responsive to ensure deterrence never fails. We must retain all three attributes of the triad: survivability, flexibility and responsiveness. Credible nuclear deterrence communicates to our adversaries that their losses would be so devastating that it outweighs their benefit of attacking us.
This is about protecting our homeland, our allies and our way of life. To help prevent nuclear proliferation, the United States provides “nuclear umbrella” protection to over 30 allied countries with whom we have treaties, including NATO members and our Indo-Pacific allies of Japan, South Korea and Australia. As a global leader, we help protect the free world from dangerous adversaries.
Can we afford to modernize? A Congressional Budget Office report, “Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces from 2019 to 2028,” estimates the Department of Defense needs to invest $326 billion over the next 10 years to modernize the nuclear triad. It may seem like a lot of money, but it is only 6.4% of the defense budget at its peak, 3% for most defense budgetary years and less than 1% of our total federal budget. This is a modest percentage of our defense budget when measured against the catastrophic consequences of a major war or a nuclear war. Our nation can afford survival.
Effective strategic deterrence that ensures the defense of our nation and our allies is, in fact, affordable. We need to let our senators and representatives in Congress know nuclear modernization is vitally important to our country.