Nuclear Deterrence

Should The United States have a Separate Nuclear Deterrence Budget?

  • Yes, important mission needs separate funding

    Votes: 6 60.0%
  • No, the status quo is just fine

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • Don't Care

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters


Senior Member
21 April 2009
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From weekly publication Inside the Pentagon -

Taking out subs would fix ship budget

Analysts Ponder Taking Nuclear Deterrence Out Of Shipbuilding Fund
Both the Navy and national security could be better served if nuclear deterrence were broken out into its own
category independent of the shipbuilding budget, analysts suggested in a hearing before the House Armed Service
Committee’s seapower subcommittee last week.
The Navy is currently struggling with requirements to recapitalize its submarine fleet for nuclear deterrence missions,
as well as the possible budgetary burden from President Obama’s decision to use ships to protect Europe from nuclear
attack. Some analysts are concerned that the future cost of submarines and aircraft carriers alone as described in the
Navy’s 2009 30-year shipbuilding plan would devour around half of the President’s proposed shipbuilding budget for
fiscal year 2011, which is expected to be around $15 billion.
“The problem that we have here is that we are expecting tactical and one-service or two-service missions to be traded
off against national survival-level missions, and it’s an apples to oranges comparison,” said Loren Thompson, Chief
Executive Officer of the Lexington Institute.
He said the problem is particularly pronounced in the Air Force, where national defense priorities like spy satellites
come out of the same funds as fighter jets. Thompson suggested that the service usually chooses to spend its money on
the latter.
“It’s a bad way to do trade-offs,” Thompson said, “and I think if you took this handful of national missions that are
absolutely crucial, like nuclear deterrence, and put them in a separate category and funded them as if they were a proof
priority independent of intra-service trade-offs we’d probably get a better outcome.
“If we were to do that while leaving the planned shipbuilding budget at the level currently expected -- in other words
around $15 billion -- but we took SSBN(X) out and treated it separately, we could probably solve most of our forward
shipbuilding problems,” he added.
Whilst on the subject of Nuclear deterrence....

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