A House bill’s mandate that all nuclear missile silos be kept operational indefinitely has drawn opposition from some Democrats, Politico Pro reports.
The Republican-led House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces in its Wednesday mark-up and approval of annual defense policy legislation included a requirement that the Defense Department maintain each of the silos currently housing a Minuteman 3 missile at least in “warm” status regardless of whether the weapon at a later date is removed from the underground launch chamber.
In accordance with the implementation of the New START pact with Russia, the Pentagon last month announced that between now and 2018 it would withdraw and place in reserve 54 of the intercontinental ballistic missiles but would keep their silos ready for potential future usage. The House bill provision appears to go further than the Pentagon’s stated plan, though, by requiring that all of the approximately 450 silos be kept operational indefinitely.
“A congressional provision to indefinitely prevent the reduction of missile silos undermines our military’s ability to determine optimal force structure and adapt to our security needs,” U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) was quoted by Politico Pro as saying. “It is only sensible that as we reduce the number of our nuclear weapons, we maintain the ability to appropriately size our nuclear force structure.”
Michael Amato, a spokesman for U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), said his boss thinks the missile silo requirement would place “an unnecessary and significant financial and strategic burden” on the U.S. military.
Smith is the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, and Sanchez sits on the panel’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee
Lawmakers from the three states that host the Minuteman 3 arsenal — Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming — have moved repeatedly to block any effort to reduce the Minuteman 3 arsenal.
- 1 Trump Couldn’t Possibly Win—Except That He Probably Will
- 2 More Zika Money Is Coming, But Timing Remains Unclear
- 3 Clinton Goes After Walker, Rubio, Paul on Equal Pay
- 4 Why Did Lee Harvey Oswald Defect to the USSR Before He Killed the President?
- 5 Verizon’s AOL Deal Could Lead to New Privacy Problems
What We're Following See More »
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."