Does Gov. O'Malley Understand Nuclear Weapons Modernization?

Judy on May 31, 2015
Martin O'Malley wants to reduce the number of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal, but seems to be under the faulty impression that "nuclear modernization" is a way to save money. Instead, it's a trillion dollar plan that will increase nuclear war-fighting capability and raise the nuclear threat.

Former Maryland Governer Martin O’Malley, a Democratic candidate for president, did a house party in Gilford, NH on May 31st. During the question period, I was able to ask him about the $1 trillion nuclear weapons modernization plan. Although I appreciated his support for reducing the number of nuclear warheads, it’s not enough. Nuclear weapons abolition must be our goal. And I wonder if someone has sold him a bill of goods on modernization. He said that “we could improve the capacity that we have … and … we could even save dollars by reducing the number of warheads at our disposal.” In fact, the modernization project won’t save money or reduce the size of the nuclear arsenal. It will cost $1 trillion, gobbling up money that is urgently needed for education, healthcare, and infrastructure. And the rebuilt nuclear arsenal threatens to be destabilizing, increasing the likelihood that the weapons will be used.

Here’s a transcript of our exchange

Judy: Yeah, what I worry about is the fact that this country still has thousands of nuclear weapons in its military arsenal and many of those are still on hair-trigger alert. Now there is a plan, a one trillion dollar plan, to completely rebuild our nuclear arsenal. A complete [re]design of the warheads, a brand new fleet of nuclear submarines, a new fleet of nuclear-capable bombers, an air-launched cruise missile that has first-strike capability. Many people think these new weapons will be very destabilizing. The Administration, the Obama Administration apparently supports this plan and I want to know what you think of it.

Martin O’Malley: I would like to see us reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, not increase the number of nuclear weapons in the world. [Applause] And I believe that there is an alternative school of thought that believes that we could improve the capacity that we have without expanding the capacity that we have and that we could even save dollars by reducing the number of warheads at our disposal. I think we have more than enough to destroy the world several times over. And I think that we’re best and have the most credibility in the world when we lead according to our principles and I would like to see us reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world and in our arsenal.

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Gilford, NH
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