Biden To Cut Budget for U.S. Nukes as Russia, China Build Lots More

jurvetson via Flickr

Just as President Trump started revitalizing the ‘Triad’ of aging U.S. nuclear forces to counter China and Russia’s rapidly growing capabilities, presumptive President-elect Joe Biden has promised to cut them. Biden says he wants to reduce what he calls America’s “excessive expenditure” on nuclear arms.

Biden has also criticized President Trump’s decision to develop new sea-based weapons, including a submarine-launched cruise missile.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the “incoming Biden administration is planning a review of the nation’s $1.2 trillion nuclear-modernization program with an eye toward trimming funding for nuclear weapons and reducing their role in Pentagon strategy.”

However, a Pentagon fact sheet published in November, states that not only do we need more nuclear weapons to counter Russia and China,  but: “Most of the systems that compose the Triad [Land based, Air Launched, and Submarine Launched] are operating well beyond their original design lives,” read. “They must be modernized, or they will be lost.”

Meanwhile, as I have written, both Russia and China are furiously modernizing and expanding their nuclear arsenals. China intends to more than double its current nuclear force by 2030, and new estimates have shown China may have far more nuclear weapons than currently believed.

But Russia is the more immediate danger. Moscow is regularly adding additional cutting-edge nuclear capabilities.

As Peter Suciu notes in The National interest:

Russia has stepped up the development of its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). In the New Year, its Strategic Missile Force will receive thirteen launchers equipped with the latest Yars and Avangard ICBMs. The Russian Ministry of Defense also announced that additional funds have been allocated for the production of the systems.

Sucio adds that the Russian Ministry of Defense is placing its new nuclear weapons on combat alert. As reported by Tass:

In 2021, the Defense Ministry will deal with a number of priority rearmament tasks. It will have to put 13 launchers with Yars and Avangard intercontinental ballistic missiles on combat duty in the Strategic Missile Force,” said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.

Shoigu added that Russia is now completing construction of the infrastructure for Yars and Avangard ICBM platforms, to deploy the missiles in Kozelsk, Yasny, Uzhur, Novosibirsk and Yoshkar-Ola.

U.S. nuclear strategists are especially concerned about Russia’s hypersonic and maneuverable Avangard boost-glide vehicle, reportedly capable of flying at Mach 27or about 32,000 kilometers (almost 20,000 miles) per hour — using its speed and maneuverability to overcome U.S. anti-missile defenses.

The RS-24 Yars, a modification of the Topol-M ballistic missile, is also a far more capable mobile or silo-based solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with MIRVed (multiple independently targetable vehicle) warheads.

Trump was right to start reviving and upgrading the Triad of U.S. nuclear forces. Both Russia and China are striving to match or overcome U.S. nuclear capabilities. In the escalation dominance game, this will allow them far more flexibility in their increasingly aggressive adventurism, and can only heighten global risks.

Biden should tread carefully in seeking to undermine this critical national security capability.


Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
16 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dan Winright
Dan Winright
11 months ago

Biden will do as Obama taught him. Drop trou and back into the threat.

THOMAS
THOMAS
11 months ago

Biden is a worthless Piece of CHIT !

Frank
Frank
11 months ago

Mr. Biden, don’t you see China and Russia want our demise.We need to be strong . Military must have what they need.

Warren Madar
Warren Madar
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Impossible to cure stupidity.

Josip
Josip
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Madar

Stupid are your voters, senators, legislators which allowed the mail in ellections…..and belive me East countries and also EU are working strongly that they finnaly fight and win against USA. Your people will regret soon to allow to many immigrants in the new 2000 millennium. This are not any more migrants who build America, this are all traitors, lazy bastards and criminals…..

Gene Ralno
Gene Ralno
11 months ago

American citizens have learned to fear and hate their government more as the democrats show their stripes. Biden is the part to fear. The hate part will be when he cowers and grovels to Russia and China.

JohnS
JohnS
11 months ago

We now will start to see the worthless old brain emanating from this worthless political hack. We will once again see Russia, China, and Iran commanding the world’s power while we wither into a huddled mass of zombies among a world full of threats to our country, economically, spiritless, and controlled from the outside. We will have an even worse period since the government will be controlled by Marxists and progressives no longer looking to our country but enforcing their wokeness agendas as the rest of us wake to this nightmare.

James B Jacobs
James B Jacobs
11 months ago

If mumbling, bumbling Biden does get into office, kiss this country goodbye. There is no one that is less qualified to be President of the USA. The Democrats are going to
live to regret what they have done, but it will be too late to do anything to stop it.

Joe W.
11 months ago
Reply to  James B Jacobs

Don’t worry, Biden won’t be president for long enough to do real damage. It will be the first female president, who would have been unelectable in an open contest, who will ruin this country permanently. And it will be highly improbable to get rid of her by legal means.

Scotty
Scotty
11 months ago
Reply to  James B Jacobs

There is one person less qualified than Joe, Kamala.

Warren Madar
Warren Madar
11 months ago
Reply to  James B Jacobs

No fool like an old fool.Hail to the thief! He stole the Election.

Floyd Hardee
11 months ago
Reply to  James B Jacobs

Public Enemy Number One is the News Media and Big Tech, who are financially in bed with the Chinese Public Enemy Number Two is the Democrats. Public Enemy Number Three is the RINO’s. Public Enemy Number Four is our Unfaithfully Judges, Then Number Five is Congress in general.

Richard Hennessy
Richard Hennessy
11 months ago

The only funds that Democrats think are needed are those with which they can buy votes. They just bought a big batch under the pretense of a bill to help people who are suffering from the virus shutdown. Much of the bill was just vote-buying pork.

Scotty
Scotty
11 months ago

Why would you need nukes if your going to surrender?

Jim Dahlberg
Jim Dahlberg
11 months ago

Don’t worry folks the democrats will buy our peace with aid. You know that no one will go against the person who gives them money. So peace it is from now on.

Floyd Hardee
11 months ago

Biden wants to make America a toothless, old, has been, Lion, unable to put up a fight. Meanwhile he can’t remember what day it is or whether he is the President elect or Kamala Harris.


People, Places & Things