Thinking Comprehensively

In addition to ensuring that the Stockpile Stewardship Program is “adequately funded and supported” in coming years, the US needs a more comprehensive stockpile management program so that the nation’s nuclear weapons are safer, more secure, and remain effective, says Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, US Strategic Command boss. Speaking Tuesday to a Capitol Hill breakfast audience, Chilton said he thinks this comprehensive approach is necessary because “there needs to be more done” than just “observation and study” activities to maintain long-term confidence in the viability of the nuclear stockpile. This concept, he said, is “an attempt to keep the deterrent viable as long as it is needed,” but it’s not about trying to keep nuclear weapons around indefinitely. In fact, an effective management program “could and should actually enable the US to reduce” its stockpile, as is the goal of the Obama Administration, he noted.