The B61 nuclear bomb was originally commissioned to thwart the threat of Soviet encroachment on Europe during the 1960’s. Even though the Cold War has been over for decades, the United State’s nuclear arsenal remains in operation across the globe.
Thousands of such nuclear weapons have been removed from the region over the years, but several hundred remain, and are costing taxpayers millions to maintain. One B61 costs $28.9 million each, totaling over $11 billion for the arsenal.
Some overseas NATO allies prefer to maintain the stockpiles as a political symbol of US solidarity. Unfortunately for taxpayers, we’re the ones footing the bill. NATO allies provide $0 in support to maintain the aging nuclear payloads.
As the New York Times reports, “The Cold War is over and no American military commander can conceive of their ever being used. Even so, President Obama has put $537 million in his 2014 budget to upgrade these bombs.”
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the "just in case" justification is getting harder and harder to accept. no one wants nuclear war, and we have many, many, MANY other military alternatives to keep the world cowering in fear.
I tend to believe there is no longer a need for nuclear weapons, or at least a nuclear stockpile. Conventional weapons are so advanced and much effective without the same unintended consequences (if used). I know there's been an effort to reduce the nuclear weapons arsenal. Not sure what the deal is with this bomb.
The only possible explanation is that Obama wants to upgrade the bomb to.... use it at a later juncture. I just don't see any other justification for this charge. Then again, we still have troop occupation in Japan stemming all the back from WWII. Maybe America is more nostalgic than its own good.