Brent Scowcroft Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Matthew Kroenig writes for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on why US nuclear modernization is necessary:
My childhood dream was to star in the National Basketball Association. But I stand only six feet one inch tall, I’m entering my late 30s, and I haven’t played competitive basketball in over 15 years. My chances of playing at the professional level are essentially zero. Some might argue that, if I am to have any hope of realizing my boyhood wish, I should spend my days running wind sprints and practicing free throws. But that path would improve my chances from none to extremely slim, and would certainly take away from my duties as a professor, researcher, and analyst. In the end, it simply isn’t worth ruining the life I have in order to chase a fantasy.
The same can be said of the United States’ choices regarding its nuclear posture. Over the next decade and beyond, the United States will go through a much-needed modernization of its aging nuclear capabilities, and these plans enjoy strong bipartisan support. But some critics argue that the modernization project conflicts with stated disarmament goals, including President Obama’s vision of bringing about “a world without nuclear weapons.”