Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL) and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on reports of President Joe Biden’s forthcoming nuclear policy:
“If reports are accurate, President Biden’s decision to cut key U.S. nuclear modernization programs is yet another example of this administration’s inability to confront the dangerous reality of the strategic threats facing the United States and its allies. This projects weakness in the midst of the worst European security crisis in decades.
“The President appears to have chosen a path of unilateral disarmament. If these reports are accurate, the President’s decision to eliminate key capabilities flies in the face of the best military advice of our uniformed military leadership and does nothing to improve our security. It only reinforces global perceptions that the United States is unwilling to compete seriously with China or Russia.
“While President Biden appears to have resisted the worst impulses of anti-nuclear zealots by rejecting ‘No First Use’ or ‘Sole Purpose’ statements – as we’ve been urging him to do – this revised policy seems to be little more than a rehash of the Obama administration’s approach.
“But things are far worse than they were back then. Over the past year, every government official who’s testified to Congress on nuclear risks has stressed the increasing dangers we are facing from adversaries around the world. We’ve seen repeated, real-world examples of these rising threats as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran all attempt to grow their nuclear capabilities and test new systems. These threats cannot be ignored.
“This is a worrying precursor ahead of the official release of the administration’s National Defense Strategy, Nuclear Posture Review, and Fiscal Year 2023 budget request. As we begin work on this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, we look forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration are provided with the resources needed to ensure we have the strongest possible nuclear deterrent to assure allies and deter our enemies.”
Background: Over the last year, China’s arsenal has grown at a historic pace and threatens to overmatch the U.S. by the 2030s. Beijing has constructed hundreds of new intercontinental ballistic missile silos, completed a full air/land/sea triad of strategic nuclear forces, and even demonstrated a capability to strike any point on the earth from orbit.
Already the world’s largest nuclear power, Russia is growing ever more belligerent and reckless as it expands its arsenal of thousands of tactical nuclear weapons and develops exotic first strike weapons to threaten the U.S. Russia also blatantly exploits its nuclear advantages by openly threatening nuclear use against NATO.
Not to be forgotten, North Korea has already conducted 11 missile tests in 2022, appears to have restarted its facilities for producing additional nuclear weapons material, and recently restarted ICBM testing for the first time in five years. For its part, Iran continues to march closer to crossing the nuclear threshold, even as the administration works to reward a regime that undermines the stability of the Middle East on a daily basis.