Smith Statement on the Nuclear Posture Review

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the release of the Nuclear Posture Review:

“The release of this Nuclear Posture Review takes the United States in a dangerous direction that will undermine our defense posture, and further aggravate our national security budgeting difficulties.

“The U.S. Congress is currently unable to fund the existing, unrealistic $1.2 trillion plan to upgrade our nuclear weapons enterprise. By requesting even more new nuclear weapon systems and additional unneeded capacity, President Trump is making the problem worse.

“This country possesses an extremely robust, highly credible nuclear deterrent that is capable of responding to any attack and defending our allies with decisive force.By advancing more new warfighting programs and adding new low-yield nuclear weapons, this approach would siphon resources away from the capabilities we need to best counter our near-peer adversaries. It would  lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons, feed a nuclear arms race, increase the risk of miscalculation that could precipitate a nuclear war, and could potentially undermine our most survivable nuclear forces. That is ill-advised and dangerous. It is important that we not let a button-measuring contest devolve into a button-pushing contest.

“We must move forward with a robust posture that deters adversary aggression by pushing back forcefully in effective ways that strengthen global security. Any such approach must be pursued in parallel with meaningful efforts to increase strategic stability and reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war. President Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review fails to do that, and makes us less capable of credibly and reliably responding to the major threats our country faces.”