WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the Department of Defense announced the deployment of the W76-2, “low-yield,” nuclear warhead.
“The Administration’s decision to deploy the W76-2 warhead remains a misguided and dangerous one. The deployment of this warhead does nothing to make Americans safer. Instead, this destabilizing deployment further increases the potential for miscalculation during a crisis. Validating the utility of so-called ‘low-yield’ nuclear weapons in ‘winning’ a nuclear war adds to the growing pressures of a nuclear arms race.
“DOD’s inability and unwillingness to answer congressional questions about the weapon over the past few months has only raised more concerns and uncertainty. The Administration must have an open and continuous dialogue with Congress so we can fully understand the decisions, long-term strategy, and rationale related to this significant shift in U.S. nuclear strategy.
“The stewardship of our nuclear arsenal is one of the government’s gravest responsibilities. Without an effective dialogue between Congress and the Administration, it will become increasingly difficult to work together to modernize our nuclear arsenal in a responsible way.”