Armed Services Dem accuses Trump admin of rushing nuclear contracts

Armed Services Dem accuses Trump admin of rushing nuclear contracts
© Greg Nash

House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithFacebook's the latest example that we must rewrite laws on corporate harm Overnight Defense & National Security — US attempts to mend ties with France Pentagon requires COVID-19 vaccines for civilian employees by Nov. 22 MORE (D-Wash.) on Sunday accused the Trump administration of rushing two major nuclear weapons programs.

“This week, the Air Force awarded four contracts worth nearly $2.5 billion to begin developing two new nuclear weapons. Yet this administration has not even completed its Nuclear Posture Review,” Smith said in a statement.

“We are rushing on autopilot to fund these programs.”

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 The Pentagon in April officially began the nuclear posture review, which was ordered by President Trump in January. It’s the first review of the U.S. nuclear weapons policy since 2010, and won’t be done for several more months.

The Pentagon, however, has not waited for the review’s completion in moving ahead with two new nuclear weapons programs.

Last week the Defense Department awarded contracts for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, which will replace the current Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) weapon, the next nuclear-capable cruise missile to be fired from aircraft.

“At a time when we face threats like those emanating from North Korea, we have serious unmet needs for theater missile defenses that work, cutting-edge cyber capabilities, and conventional weapons that will respond directly to the military challenges we are facing right now,” Smith said.

The congressman’s statement comes shortly after North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles off its east coast.

Smith further criticized the administration for not yet resolving defense budget caps before “doubling down on these legacy nuclear modernization plans,” which could “undermine strategic stability and fuel another arms race.”

The lawmaker earlier this year chastised the White House for its nuclear modernization plans, and said in March that expensive nuclear programs like the LRSO would pull money away from other priorities such as shipbuilding and military readiness.