Author Archives: Nukes of Hazard Blog:
The Pentagon, caught between a budget cap on defense spending and a long wish list of expensive weapons programs, will need to choose between what is nice to have and what is necessary and affordable for maintaining national security. There are many past examples of the Pentagon planning for a large number of weapons and then being forced to adjust its expectations and reduce its purchase of weapons systems due to rising costs and under-performance.
Sequestration, the budget mechanism that kicks in if and only if Congress does not budget to the caps set under the 2011 Budget Control Act, has been framed as the big bad wolf of Washington. But this frequent mischaracterization of sequestration as a vague, threatening entity neglects a key facet of budget construction: sequestration won’t kick in unless Congress fails to do its job.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of nuclear bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. In addition, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entered into force 45 years ago last week. This landmark treaty put a stop to the spread of nuclear weapons beyond five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and has been an enduring agreement that has made the world a safer place.
In his controversial and highly anticipated address before Congress today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered quite possibly the best campaign speech of his career — engaging in high-level fear mongering in an effort to thwart diplomatic efforts between the U.S., its allies, and Iran, on the future of Iran’s nuclear program. The problem? That’s all he seemed to do.
This month, Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced the bipartisan Audit the Pentagon Act of 2015, (H.R. 942) co-sponsored by Mike Burgess (R-Texas) and five others. It aims to do exactly what it says: audit the Pentagon. Why, you ask? Because unlike every other federal agency required by law to undergo an audit, the Department of Defense (DoD) has never done so.
The Obama administration has requested $12.6 billion for the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) as part of its Fiscal Year 2016 Department of Energy budget request. $1.9 billion of that request will go towards Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation (DNN) programs tasked with preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and materials. The programs facilitate cooperation with international partners to better secure, monitor, and dispose of vulnerable nuclear material (military and civilian) and other radiological waste.