BIDEN AT NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY
Vice-President Biden says that U.S. "missile defense" systems and new global strike systems will allow the U.S. to reduce some of our nuclear weapons.
The Obama administration delivered a budget request for 2011 calling for a full 10 percent increase in nuclear weapons spending, to be followed by further increases in subsequent years.
A 2003 study by Economists for Peace and Security called The Full Cost of Ballistic Missile Defense estimates that the total life cycle cost for a layered missile defense system could reach $1.2 trillion through 2035. The study can be found here
Greg Mello, Director of the Los Alamos Study Group writes about Obama's proposed nuclear weapons spending increase: "This proposed 'surge' responds to a December 2009 request from Senate Republicans (plus Joe Lieberman) for significant increases in nuclear weapons spending. Such increases, these senators said, were necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) to obtain their ratification votes for a follow-on to the START treaty (which expired in December)."
Mello continues, "Will Congress, especially the Democratic members of Congress, fund these increases? In part the answer depends on how seriously they take the several converging crises facing the country and the planet, and how seriously they address populist anger about the economy, especially in relation to their own reelection prospects.
"In many ways the proposed nuclear weapons budget, and the defense budget overall, can be seen as bold raids on a diminishing pool of resources, as well as very real commitments to fading imperial pretensions. Nuclear weapons compete directly with the renewable energy and conservation jobs funded in the Energy and Water funding bills."
It is obvious to me that Obama is trying to buy off Republican support for the very timid nuclear reduction treaty now being negotiated with Russia.