Despite Treaties To Reduce Nuclear Stockpiles, We Are Spending More On Nukes Now Than We Did During The Cold War.

by Daniel Russ on February 22, 2012

 

The National Nuclear Security Administration is a government agency whose job is to secure the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons. It is also the overseer for weapons development. The problem here is that the NNSA is a lot like Congress and lobbying firms. One hand washes the other, and there is no effective oversight. Comprised of all pro nuclear advocates who occupy the same incestuous circles, the NNSA has not given Congress costs for over a dozen vital projects, and with help of Republicans in Congress has slowed down the dismantling of existing obsolete nukes and firing systems. Of course, no one really reports on this because the media is paper thin and a sham, taking an entire day to stop reporting the news and instead live stream Whitney Houston’s memorial service.

 

While START treaties have been signed, and while we have not exactly built a new warhead since 1989, the fact is we are rapidly expanding nuclear weapons technologies. NNSA officials, deeply entwined with contractors who make money on maintaining and securing nuclear warheads are doing the opposite and operose task of just securing nukes. They are giving upgrades to the nukes that are supposed to be destroyed and dismantled. For example they are creating yield controls, so operators can dial up or down the explosive power of warheads on the way to the target. They are also spending millions on laser fusion devices that would create fusion bombs hotter than the center of the Sun.

 

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a new complex in Los Alamos and a complex in Kansas City are all quiet black box projects whose appearance is a nuclear securing facility but actually act as new weapons centers whose budgets have been increased from a few hundred millions to billions with little notice.

 

In other words, hiding behind billions of dollars allocated to dismantle nuclear weapons, the actual contracting firms are building new weapons out of the older zombie weapons that were dismantled to slow nuclear warfare planning.

 

In 1989, when the START treaties were signed, the United States held 22,217 warheads. 16,000 have been dismantled, 2, 850 have been put in a state where they are not ready for launch but could be converted for use within months. Some 3500 are waiting to be scrapped because they are constructed with now moribund and outdated technologies. Currently we have 5,113 warheads ready for use in silos or deployed throughout the sea and at airbases.

 

In a day when the country desperately needs funds, cutting nukes is apparently anathema. Keep in mind that these reductions have been ongoing since Ronald Reagan began the talks. The weapons industry, like banks, operated behind closed doors, with regulations that no one enforces. With an overwhelmed or just perhaps with a feckless President in office, they will continue to build new weapons with impunity. The folks who created the financial meltdown got away with it, so why shouldn’t the folks who create actual meltdowns?

 

Sources: Federation of American Scientists, US Nuclear Regulatory Agency, US Navy, Mother Jones News

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