Containing Russia and China: Pentagon requests more than $230 billion for nuclear weapons


June 20th, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

RT Russian –  By Inessa Sinchougova

In the next 20 years, the Pentagon intends on spending $230 – 290 billion for the modernization of its nuclear forces. This was stated by US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Robert Soofer, presenting the budget request in the Senate. Among the reasons justifying the need to develop nuclear weapons, Soofer pointed to the the size of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, which is not inferior in size to the US.

In his speech he explained the importance of further development of nuclear power and the need to allocate funds for the modernization to take place.

“Russia undertook aggressive actions against its neighbors, and has become a threat, including a nuclear threat to the US and its NATO allies,” – said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.

According to Soofer, the only country that can compete with the US on the size of the nuclear arsenal, has started modernization of nuclear weapons, in connection with which the presidential administration is invited to consider concrete steps that “would deprive the significant military advantage Russia.” 

In addition, according to the Pentagon, a threat also exist from China, which is building up its own nuclear arsenal, and is North Korea.

“China’s actions in the Asia-Pacific region are evidence of its desire to occupy a dominant position. North Korean authorities have demonstrated that they are ready to accept the prospect of retaliatory economic sanctions and international isolation for the sake of increasing its nuclear capability and ballistic missiles, capable of striking the United States, as well as to our allies in the region “, – said Robert Soofer.

To confront the challenges, from 2018 to 2040 the US Department of Defense plans to spend from $ 230 billion to $ 290 billion on nuclear weapons. 

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This amount includes the total value of strategic nuclear weapon delivery systems, as well as part of the cost of the bomber B-21, which can be used with both nuclear and conventional warheads. 

The US is spending on the maintenance of existing nuclear weapons a total sum of about $ 14 billion a year. However, in 2018 the Ministry of Defense plans to increase this amount to $ 19 billion, of which $ 5 billion will be allocated exclusively to modernization. The money will be spent on the development and creation of strategic submarines “Colombia”, a new generation of bombers, B-21, as well as the manufacture of modern ballistic and cruise missiles.

Increases are also planned for spending on the development of land-based strategic deterrence program, which involves the upgrading of ballistic missiles and related infrastructure, with $ 200 million in the fiscal year of 2018, to $ 2.5 billion in 2022. On the B-21 bombers, the US plans to spend $ 2.7 billion on an annual basis. Also in 2018 the Pentagon wants to allocate $ 2.8 billion for the production and modernization of intercontinental ballistic missiles that can attack targets at a distance of at least 5.5 thousand Km. 

It is notable, according to SIPRI Research Institute, that in 2016 the United States spent $ 611.2 billion on the development of nuclear weapons, while Russia – only $ 69.2 billion.

According to the level of military expenditure, China ranked second in the world -. $ 215.2 billion. Thus, more than a third of the world’s military spending belongs to the US, while Russia’s budget is only 4.1% of the world’s.

“It would be wonderful, this is my dream, if no country had nuclear weapons, but if any state will have a nuclear weapon, we will be on top of the competition”, – said the US president.

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