New Weapons


Budget Process FY 2005 - The Debate for New Nuclear Weapons:
July 22, 2004 update

During the fiscal year 2005 Budget Process a memo, dated December 5, 2003, from Linton Brooks, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) surfaced, thanking the directors of the national laboratories for their help in supporting the overturn of the ban on developing low-yield nuclear weapons. Brooks goes on the direct the national labs to take "full advantage of this opportunity" to examine all "advanced concepts" involving the research and development of new weapons.

In January, the ranking members of the House Appropriations Water and Development Subcommittee, David Hobson and Peter Visclosky, repsonded to this memo in an emotive letter to Brooks expressing deep concern over the sincerity of the NNSA. The Representatives were troubled by the administrator's apparent lie to the subcommittee regarding his assurances on the scope and nature of the NNSA's advanced concepts initiative, the program dedicated to the research and development of new weapons.

Boldly standing up to the administration's deception, the House subcommittee removed funding for programs related to new nuclear weapons research and manufacture, including line items for the advanced concepts initiative, the robust nuclear earth penetrator, enhanced test readiness, and the modern pit facility. Although both the House and Senate approved funding for these programs in their Defense Authorizations bills, funding may still be cut from the budget if the congressional Conference Committee upholds the House committees recommendations, following Senate action on their appropriation bill.

For more updates and information on the ongoing budget process, visit the website for the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

B61-11 Warhead:
The cold war may be over, but the nuclear arms race has not quite ended. The United States is fielding a new nuclear weapon--a bomb that was used to threaten Libya, a non-nuclear nation, even before it was deployed.

The B61 "mod-11" gravity bomb is the first new nuclear capability added to the U.S. arsenal since 1989. It was developed and deployed secretly, without public or congressional debate, and in apparent contradiction to official domestic and international assurances that no new nuclear weapons were being developed in the United States.

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