Senator Feinstein Calls for Reducing “Unnecessary and Unsustainable” Nuclear Weapons

With budget battles looming, members of Congress are looking for smart ways to reduce spending. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approach stands out. “We’re holding far more nuclear weapons than are necessary, and the cost is undermining other national security priorities. It’s time we take a long look at how we can responsibly reduce our stockpile,” she wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed. “Put simply, the current level of spending on nuclear weapons is unnecessary and unsustainable.”

The United States is on track to spend $1 trillion on its nuclear arsenal over the next 30 year, according to analysis by the Monterey Institute. That staggering figure includes billions for a new fleet of nuclear submarines and a brand new bomber. These costly programs threaten to squeeze other more important priorities out of the budget, putting our national security at risk.

Sen. Feinstein points to another smart target for reductions: the 3,200 spare warheads kept in reserve. “We can reduce these reserve weapons without the painstaking task of negotiating further arms-control treaties. We can do so without negatively affecting our national security or our global deterrence. And doing so could save hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” she writes.

In a letter to the Washington Post, Ploughshares Fund grantee Kathy Crandall Robinson, of Women’s Action for New Directions, applauded Sen. Feinstein’s practical approach. “By taking the common-sense step of retiring and then dismantling militarily useless weapons, the United States will be advancing international nonproliferation commitments,” she writes, adding, “I hope Ms. Feinstein’s colleagues from both sides of the political aisle will work together to take this prudent step to reduce costs and increase security.” We too hope Sen. Feinstein’s leadership inspires her colleagues to end wasteful nuclear spending and advance US security.   

Read Senator Feinstein’s full Washington Post op-ed here.