WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States has launched an enormous quarter century program to completely upgrade or replace the entire US strategic nuclear weapons stockpile and their delivery systems
“This has nothing to do with the national security of the United States. It is damaging the national security of the United States.”
On Thursday, the US Government Accountability Office said in a report that the country’s 25 year nuclear modernization program would cost $18 billion more than previous estimates.
Postol commented that the rising cost of the program is not surprising.
“The Nuclear Modernization Program is on automatic with no oversight, no thought on the role nuclear weapons will play in our defense or in future wars.”
Postol continued that US policies to maintain massive nuclear stockpiles had never been seriously reassessed since the end of the Cold War and the weapons upgrade could prompt other nuclear powers to improve their capability.
“This program is causing the Russians and the Chinese in particular to become increasingly concerned about what they perceive as our new nuclear build up and they will respond accordingly.”
He added that top US defense policymakers are not ready to ask difficult but necessary questions about when and how nuclear weapons could be used, as well as whether it is necessary to have so many of them.
The scale of the US nuclear arsenal, he argued, “is just absurd.”
“A very small number of nuclear weapons will deter everybody. It does not take much to establish a credible deterrent threat.”
However, he said some amount of nuclear retaliatory threat was necessary to maintain peace.
Postol previously worked as an analyst at the US Office of Technology Assessment and as a science and policy adviser to the Chief of Naval Operations, the operational head of the US Navy.