Americans don't often hear much about U.S. nuclear weapons. Despite their historical and continued importance to the strategic defense of our country, the most powerful weapons in the U.S. military arsenal are largely outside of the public view.
As the Department of Defense embarks this year on a Nuclear Posture Review, we must not lose sight of what has changed since the last review in 2010. Potential adversaries are aggressively modernizing and expanding their nuclear forces and capabilities. Some are publicly reminding those watching that their policies and doctrines support their use. So while much has changed since 2010, what has not changed is the need for a strong U.S. nuclear deterrent. We must modernize our aging delivery platforms, nuclear weapons and supporting infrastructure so that America's deterrent remains credible and effective in the future.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, nuclear weapons are a critical tool of world peace. Since the advent of the nuclear age, the great wars that so ravaged the globe during the first half of the 20th century are no more. Consider that between 65 and 85 million people died in the two world wars of the last century. It is against this backdrop that the United States must ensure that we continue to field effective nuclear deterrent forces.
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