What We Spend on Nuclear Weapons


The United States is projected to spend over $700 billion on nuclear weapons and related programs during the next ten years. As federal budgets tighten and officials address the most pressing national security needs of the 21st century, the substantial cost of nuclear weapons must be fully examined. By understanding these costs and setting effective national security priorities, policymakers can reduce nuclear budget excesses incurred by the active stockpile of approximately 5,000 nuclear weapons.

Ploughshares Fund has written a working paper (http://ploughshares.org/sites/default/files/resources/What%20We%20Spend%20on%20Nuclear%20Weapons_0.pdf) to address the magnitude of this complex issue. As a result of this analysis, we are convinced that the current projected expenditures on nuclear weapons are mismatched for both the fiscal and physical threats we face as a country, and must therefore come down. This working paper should be viewed as a living document that, as the budget picture for nuclear weapons spending becomes clearer, will be adjusted to match the changing policy environment.

We hope that this working paper will contribute to the overall national debate about defense spending, both for the sake of our national security and our country’s fiscal health. It is our view that these projected investments are oriented towards fighting last century’s wars, thereby creating significant financial waste while undercutting our country’s ability to address the threats we all face. In an era of tight federal budgets, limited defense dollars must be spent wisely to address the security needs of today and the anticipated security needs of tomorrow. Our projected nuclear weapons spending, as outlined in this paper, does not meet this standard.

Ultimately, the United States must find a bipartisan path forward for reducing the nuclear budget burden that we all face. We should not saddle our children and grandchildren with hundreds of billions of dollars of unnecessary future expenditures for weapons systems that we neither need nor can afford.

ORIGINAL POSTING LINK: http://www.ploughshares.org/blog/2011-09-14/what-we-spend-nuclear-weapons



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  • Arif Khan  On September 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    YAA if the USA just cut its Military spending in half and pull back unnecessary Forces back home they could pay off their debt and balace the budget in a very short time? why do they need so many NUKES ?????? Arif

  • Mohammad Chaudhry  On September 25, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Qbama has already shared this vision by taking an initiative to announce cut in nuclear arsenal by signing an agreement with Russia. Let’s hope that Republican leadership,starting with Boehner and others of his elk,also undo their dogma of conventional approach and respond to the call of time by endorsing Obama’s plan,thus addressing both concerns,extravegence in nuclear weapons and financial constraints for the better future of next generations.

  • therearenosunglasses  On September 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

    SU Turkman,

    these figures are probably dead-on accurate, since the plan is to modernize the entire “old” nuclear arsenal and to develop new land and sea-based missiles. Russia’s continuing modernization is used to justify this, as is the age of most of the weapons.

    • S U Turkman  On October 12, 2011 at 5:47 am

      Why are you answering me, when I have no comments here?
      I can not see this amount in any Budget Proposals. I do not know, where from this man got his info. He has provided no reference so, its possible that he has made this amount up. USA is trying hard to cut Defense Spending and $ 700 billion is too huge of an amount. USA could be trying to improve her Missiles and that can not cost this much. Never heard USA wants to improve Nukes. .

  • singapore seo  On October 11, 2011 at 7:17 am

    http://www.quora.com/soubix-pte-ltd Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time 🙂

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