Last week I happened to read an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates regarding the New START Treaty. Gates tells us that the “treaty has the unanimous support of America’s military leadership.”
That’s good to know, but they don’t get to vote on it.
The Obama Administration also plans to throw some incentives (around $180 billion) at the Senate to pass the treaty. The Senate starts working on the Treaty this week in the Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Senator John Kerry. It requires a vote of two-thirds of the Senators present and voting (a quorum being present) to pass.
After reading about six paragraphs into his opinion, I found this nugget of information interesting:
Based on recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we plan to meet the Treaty’s limits by retaining a triad of up to 420 ICBMs, 14 submarines carrying up to 240 SLBMs, and up to 60 nuclear-capable heavy bombers.
As with most people who follow the military, especially those who follow the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) missions, that paragraph raised an eyebrow.
A Washington Post story tells us that “the administration will reduce the 450 ICBMs now deployed with single warheads to 420, and perhaps fewer.”
Currently, there are three ICBM bases left (Minot in North Dakota, F.E. Warren in Wyoming, and Malmstrom in Montana). They have 150 ICBMs each, which totals 450. Continue reading
In the Great Falls Tribune Sunday edition there was an editorial about the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the possibility that the 150 remaining missiles at Malmstrom AFB might be taken away. The title of the editorial was “Malmstrom, area economy appear safe – for now” and you can read it HERE.
Of course, after reading the editorial, I have to offer my opinion. Continue reading
The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) was released this morning. The document is about 72 pages and can be viewed HERE. Some of my readers are probably asking why the NPR is so important. According to the Department of Defense (DoD):
The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is a legislatively-mandated review that establishes U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next five years to ten years.
So, it’s important because it is the blueprint for the next five-10 years in regards to our nuclear missions. Since I have many years of experience working in this field from near and far, I try to keep up on the latest happenings and offer my humble opinion about what the leaders of our nation are trying to do.
So, here are some of the things that caught my eye in regards to ICBMs after reading the NPR: Continue reading
The Associated Press (AP) recently ran a story about the future of the 450 nuclear weapons in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming – more or less looking at the economic impact of closing or cutting the number of missiles at these bases would have on the local communities. All in all it was a pretty good story from the AP.
You can read it HERE.
Great Falls Mayor Michael Winters (a Veteran) was quoted in the story saying, “Each and every facet of our economy has something to do with Malmstrom.”
The Department of Defense (DoD) does not really take into consideration how closing a base will harm a community. They could care less. If it happens, the Feds will just throw a few grants to the communities, create a website for communities to use, and maybe assign a couple of people to act as liaisons for a year or so, and then ride off into the sunset touting the savings. Continue reading