The Senate ICBM Coalition, in a white paper issued on Nov. 6, calls the nation’s Minuteman III force “the most stabilizing part” of the US strategic nuclear triad. As a result, the 10-member bipartisan group of Senators wants the United States to maintain the current inventory size of 450 missiles as one of the outcomes of a new agreement with Russia on nuclear warhead and delivery vehicle caps to succeed the START I Treaty that expires in December. There is “no inconsistency,” the coalition writes, between maintaining a 450-missile ICBM force and pursuing a START follow-on agreement. Arming each of the 450 MMIIIs with a single warhead, the coalition writes, would maximize the benefits of the ICBM leg, such as the “insurmountable challenge” it would pose to Russia or any other potential foe to knock it out completely due to the missiles’ wide dispersal.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”