The Insider

Shanahan to roll out Nuclear Posture Review tomorrow

February 01, 2018 |
Justin Doubleday

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will roll out the Trump administration's Nuclear Posture Review at the Pentagon tomorrow.

Shanahan will brief the press on the NPR at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on Friday along with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon and Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, according to the Defense Department. 

"This is a strategy that requires an investment in a credible nuclear deterrent with diverse capabilities," chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters during a briefing today. "It will confirm the importance of the nuclear triad."

During his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Trump pledged to overhaul the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The Congressional Budget Office estimates sustaining and replacing the triad could cost $1.2 trillion.

A leaked draft of the NPR published by HuffPost in early January pitches U.S. nuclear modernization as an "affordable priority."

"While estimates of the cost to sustain and replace U.S. nuclear capabilities vary, based on the timeframe considered and how they account for various elements of the program, even the highest of these projects place the highpoint of future costs at approximately 6.4 percent of the current Defense Department budget," the draft document states.

The draft indicated the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will reform nuclear command, control and communications governance, and it also called the Navy's plan for 12 Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines a "minimum" fleet objective.

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