Saturday, January 30, 2010

Obama's Budget to Include $7 Billion to Maintain Nuclear Stockpiles

Obama's budget will be revealed on Monday. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Joe Biden said there will be $7 billion included in the budget to maintain our existing nuclear stockpiles.
GovExec: The added funding will help strengthen the United States' ability to recruit, train and retain skilled people, support the work of nuclear labs, and clean up and close down facilities that are no longer needed, the column said. The request comes as the Pentagon is completing its Nuclear Posture Review, which will be released March 1.
An excerpt from Joe's op-ed:
For almost a decade, our laboratories and facilities have been underfunded and undervalued. The consequences of this neglect—like the growing shortage of skilled nuclear scientists and engineers and the aging of critical facilities—have largely escaped public notice. Last year, the Strategic Posture Commission led by former Defense Secretaries William Perry and James Schlesinger warned that our nuclear complex requires urgent attention. We agree.

The budget we will submit to Congress on Monday both reverses this decline and enables us to implement the president's nuclear-security agenda. These goals are intertwined. The same skilled nuclear experts who maintain our arsenal play a key role in guaranteeing our country's security now and for the future. State-of-the art facilities, and highly trained and motivated people, allow us to maintain our arsenal without testing. They will help meet the president's goal of securing vulnerable nuclear materials world-wide in the coming years, and enable us to track and thwart nuclear trafficking, verify weapons reductions, and to develop tomorrow's cutting-edge technologies for our security and prosperity.

To achieve these goals, our budget devotes $7 billion for maintaining our nuclear-weapons stockpile and complex, and for related efforts. This commitment is $600 million more than Congress approved last year. And over the next five years we intend to boost funding for these important activities by more than $5 billion. Even in a time of tough budget decisions, these are investments we must make for our security. We are committed to working with Congress to ensure these budget increases are approved. WSJ