Paul Critiques Trillion Dollar Nuclear Plan

Doug on November 13, 2015
Doug asked Rand Paul about the trillion dollars to modernize our nuclear weapons triad. Paul said, "I’m not sure where the trillion comes from but it’s a lot of money to modernize the nuclear arsenal." He also implied the U.S. has more nuclear weapons than we need and repeated his call for the Pentagon to be audited.

Doug was called on during Senator Rand Paul's town hall meeting in Portsmouth.   He said, "Senator, in your most recent debate, which I thought you did really well in, you made mention of a trillion dollars in future defense spending and I was wondering if that’s the same trillion dollars that’s being proposed to be spent to modernize our nuclear weapons triad over the next thirty years.  So do you think that’s a good idea or should we be reducing it as a part of [the] Nonproliferation Treaty rather than replacing them and using that money for more important things?"

Senator Paul responded, ""The thing that’s sad is that when we’re both talking about a trillion dollars and we’re not even talking about the same trillion dollars.  That’s really sad. The truth though that I was talking about is Rubio has proposed all of these things in a speech recently and somebody from Cato Institute added them up and then estimated that what he’s talking about could be a trillion dollars.

"What you’re talking about is, I’m not sure where the trillion comes from but it’s a lot of money to modernize the nuclear arsenal.  I have supported the treaties to bring the nuclear arsenal less.  At one point I think we could blow up the world like 10,000 times.  We don’t need to blow it up 10,000 times over.

"I do think if we reduce them usually I’ve been in favor of doing it in conjunction with the Russians and the Chinese and so it’s not just us unilaterally giving up nuclear weapons.

"The ones that we do have remaining will have to be modernized and kept in shape to be a deterrent. Hopefully that’s what they are is a deterrent to keep people [from] attacking us.

"The Pentagon says this is much more than is needed," Doug responded.

"Exactly, exactly," Senator Paul said, "and I’m with you on all that.  I mean, we need to audit the Pentagon.  I’ve got a bill to audit the Pentagon.  Whatever expense that we have has to be looked at to make sure it’s not in excess.  The bottom line is what we have to have some modernization. I’m not for giving a blank check of a trillion dollars to do this."

After the event, Judy also spoke to Senator Paul and said she is concerned about nuclear weapons.  When Senator Paul said he is, too, she told him that the assertions that our nuclear stockpile isn’t reliable are untrue.  "At that point," Judy said, "one of his volunteers interrupted us to take a picture, ending the conversation.   But Judy took an aide's e-mail address and sent him a copy of the Arms Control Association’s 2014 paper, “The Unaffordable Arsenal.”)

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