The Wall Street Journal reported that the administration of US President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cut funding for the US nuclear modernization program and limit its role in the Pentagon’s strategy.
In a report published today, Thursday, the newspaper quoted former US officials as saying that the Biden administration “plans to review the $ 1.2 trillion national nuclear modernization program with the aim of reducing nuclear weapons financing and limiting its role in the Pentagon’s strategy.”
In this context, the newspaper pointed out that Biden repeatedly promised his supporters during the election campaign to reduce what he described as the “excessive spending” of the current president, Donald Trump, on nuclear weapons, and also criticized his decision to develop new weapons deployed at sea, including a winged missile launched from submarines.
The report also added that the incoming administration is likely to reconsider the Pentagon’s decision to develop a new ICBM on land, whose value is currently estimated, including the nuclear warhead, of $ 100 billion.
“We must modernize our means of deterrence,” one former official spokesperson told the newspaper. “But we cannot spend the amount that has been allocated now.”
The Wall Street Journal sources indicated that reducing the role of nuclear arsenals in military strategy will require strengthening the capabilities of conventional weapons.
Republican Trump, according to the official results of the presidential elections, suffered a clear loss in front of Democrat Biden, who won 306 of the electoral college votes compared to 232 among his opponent.
But Trump, who has repeatedly emphasized his quest to boost and upgrade his country’s nuclear capabilities, has yet to acknowledge Biden’s victory.
This comes at a time when disputes persist between the United States and Russia over the issue of extending the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms Limitation.
The third version of the Treaty on the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms “New START”, which was concluded between Russia and the United States in 2010, as an extension of the agreement signed in 1991 in Moscow, is the only working deal between the two parties on arms reduction, after Washington’s withdrawal, on August 2, 2019, from Intermediate and Short-Range Missile Disarmament Treaty.
The “New START” treaty, which expires in early 2021, kept the two countries’ arsenals at a level far below what was the case during the Cold War, limiting the number of strategic nuclear launch platforms installed at 700 and the number of nuclear warheads at 1550.
Source: “Wall Street Journal” + agencies