Monday, October 31, 2022

U.S. to Scrap Sea-Launched Nuclear Missile Despite Military Backing; Biden Moves to Scrap Trump-Era Sea-Launched Nuclear Missile Program

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. to scrap sea-launched nuclear missile despite military backing
The United States will stop developing nuclear-armed sea launched cruise missiles, Pentagon documents released on Thursday said, despite senior military officials publicly recommending keeping it.
The decision to cancel the submarine-launched cruise missile could help President Joe Biden address calls from fellow Democrats to scale back America's nuclear arsenal without sacrificing major components of its nuclear "triad" of nuclear-tipped ground-based inter-continental ballistic missiles, nuclear-capable bomber aircraft and submarine-launched nuclear arms.
However, it is unclear if Congress, which could come under Republican control after next month's elections, will resist the efforts to scrap it.
The Biden administration released three documents on Thursday: the National Defense Strategy, Nuclear Posture Review and Missile Defense Review. Together, they laid out the military's priorities for the coming years and underscored that Washington would maintain "a very high bar for nuclear employment."
Under President Donald Trump's administration, the military made a decision in 2018 to develop a new nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile, with a focus on the threat from Russia. --->READ MORE HERE
Biden moves to scrap Trump-era sea-launched nuclear missile program:
The Biden administration is seeking to scrap the U.S. military’s development of nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles, despite recommendations to the contrary from top officials, according to the Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy released Thursday.
The decision, which comes over top Defense Department officials’ public recommendations to keep the weapon, is part of a sweeping new strategy calling for better military deterrence in the face of threats from Russia and China.
The document, which also includes a review of America’s nuclear arsenal and missile defenses, reverses the Trump administration’s 2018 move to develop a new nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM-N), a weapon meant to focus specifically on a Russian threat.
The U.S. will still maintain a submarine-launched nuclear arsenal.
The Biden administration said the Trump-era program was “no longer necessary,” as the United States already has the “means to deter limited nuclear use.”
Asked about the decision on Thursday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the U.S. nuclear weapons inventory is already significant and that officials had determined the submarine-launched cruise missile wasn’t a necessary add. --->READ MORE HERE
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