The top Republicans on the Armed Services Committee and the Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee today welcomed the release of the Administration’s delayed Nuclear Posture Review, a top-to-bottom review of the United States’ nuclear policies, capabilities, and requirements. Both members pointed to the committee’s full committee hearing on April 14th as an opportunity for Members of Congress to gain more details about the Nuclear Posture Review and question officials from the Departments of Defense, Energy, and State.
“We welcome the delivery of the Nuclear Posture Review and its emphasis on countering the threats of nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation,” said U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee. “However, there could be clear consequences for some of the language and perceived signals imbedded in the review. We look forward to working with the Administration to better understand the analysis behind the decisions made in the Nuclear Posture Review.”
“I’m pleased that the Administration remains committed to the nuclear triad of land-, sea-, and air-based nuclear deterrents; signaled the need for additional investments to modernize our nuclear complex; and acknowledged that the conditions for a ‘nuclear-free’ world do not exist at this time,” continued McKeon.
“I’m deeply concerned by some of the decisions made in the Nuclear Posture Review and the message this Administration is sending to Iran, North Korea, and non-state actors who may seek to harm the United States or our allies,” said U.S. Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. “By unilaterally taking a nuclear response off the table, we are decreasing our options without getting anything in return and diminishing our ability to defend our nation from attack.”
McKeon and Turner intend to press key Administration witnesses on details and the underlying rationale behind decisions made in the Nuclear Posture Review at an Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, April 14th. McKeon and Turner specifically pointed to the following concerns:
The perception that conventional capabilities are sufficient to deter potential adversaries and assure U.S. allies and partners;
- The perception that the Administration intends to shift to a “sole purpose” policy, which would deny the threat of nuclear use to deter potentially devastating chemical or biological attacks against the United States;
- The indication that the Administration is already contemplating deeper nuclear cuts beyond the unsigned follow-on START Treaty without a clear strategic rationale; and
- Ensuring that the Administration follows through on its decision to modernize and recapitalize America’s nuclear weapons and complex.