WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) today released the following statement in response to the introduction of Republican-led amendments to strike key provisions regarding the country’s nuclear arsenal from the FY20 NDAA:

“The FY20 NDAA Chairman’s mark increases funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration by 4.2 percent, a total increase of $645 million over FY19. This is proof positive that the bill takes our nuclear arsenal seriously and acknowledges the triad’s importance in our overall national defense strategy.

“However, when it comes to nuclear weapons, there is no such thing as a proportional response. Our adversaries must know that if they were to deploy a nuclear weapon of any kind on our troops, we would respond swiftly and fiercely. We already have the greatest nuclear arsenal on earth, yet my colleagues seem focused on expanding our stockpile of low-yield weapons. 

“We all agree that the United States must maintain our military advantage over our near peer adversaries but adding more low-yield ballistic missile warheads to our arsenal will not help us achieve that goal or make our country safer.

“The ability to deter our adversaries doesn’t just depend on the size of our nuclear arsenal, but also the strength of our partners and allies in key regions. That is precisely why the FY20 NDAA Chairman’s Mark invests strategically to prepare the country for the threats of today and tomorrow – nuclear and otherwise. That is also why the Mark includes provisions that require greater military-to-military dialogue to reduce the risk of miscalculation, which would ultimately end in global catastrophe. A nuclear arms race will not stabilize the world order, but the FY20 NDAA will.”