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Top general urges officials to trim, re-think U.S. nuclear arsenal

Via: Raw Story

The U.S. nuclear arsenal is too big, too expensive, out of date and desperately needs to be re-thought, according to retired MARINE General James Cartwright and retired U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering.

Pickering and Cartwright met with the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development on Wednesday in a hearing about our nuclear arsenal, which was built decades ago to protect this country from a range of threats it no longer faces.  Now, the antiquated system is costing the country money and placing it at risk, said the two men, and a time has come to take steps to modernize the weapons system.

Cartwright, who is a chairman of the nuclear disarmament commission Global Zero, was presenting the Global Zero U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission’s report, which calls upon the U.S. and Russia to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals by 80 percent to 900 nuclear weapons each.

The proposal outlined in the report calls for a “reduced and de-alerted” nuclear force:

– one with modernized technology

– shortened response times

– ultimately spends $120 BILLION less over the next decade.

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The idea of restructuring the nuclear arsenal dates back decades.  Ronald Reagan (remember him?) made it part of his agenda at his Reykjavík Summit meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986.

Rubin said that until recently, the issue has always been a bipartisan one.  It was only in 2010, when President Obama signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) that Republicans began to argue more vociferously against arms control agreements.

“That was when partisanship crept into the debate,” said Rubin, “The treaty was a major accomplishment, the entirety of the Republican foreign policy establishment was saying, ‘We needed this treaty.’” It was the United States’ best opportunity since the expiration of the previous arms control treaty with Russia to verify exactly what weapons Russia had and what it was doing with them.

But as Cartwright said on Wednesday morning before the panel, our defense stance is no longer based on a “bipolar relationship” with Russia.  ”We live in a multipolar nuclear capable world,” he said, and our refusal to update our notions of defense is costing the country billions of dollars and eroding the stability of our position in the world.

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The global security situation has changed profoundly since our nation’s defenses were designed, he said, ”We need to live in this reality.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/25/top-general-urges-officials-to-trim-re-think-u-s-nuclear-arsenal/

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UPDATE:

Romney’s ‘defense spending advisor’, retired Major T.J. ‘King’ Kong (See photo), disagrees.

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July 26, 2012 - Posted by | 2012, GOP morons, Romney | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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