Quigley Moves to Reduce Nuclear Missile Arsenal
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) urged a one-third reduction in America’s intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles (ICBMs) stockpile with an amendment to the FY14 Defense Appropriations Bill.
“We are in the midst of a budget crisis, yet continue to spend billions each year on a nuclear arsenal designed to fight a Cold War that no longer exists,” said Rep. Quigley. “America cannot afford an oversized ICBM stockpile that does nothing to keep us safe in today’s threat environment. We would be safer realigning our defense investments toward local law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and nimble weapons systems.”
A report issued last year by General James Cartwright, retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former commander of U.S. nuclear forces, and Secretary Chuck Hagel supported elimination of all land-based ICBMs. The report highlighted the weaknesses of land-based ICBMs, citing “inherently targetable” fixed silos and flight paths that would require missiles to travel through Russian air space and risk “confusing Russia … and triggering nuclear retaliation.”
Rep. Quigley’s amendment to reduce the nuclear stockpile to 300 from 450 warheads comes as the U.S. works under the New Strategic Arms Reduction (START) Treaty to reduce its current arsenal of 1,700 deployed strategic nuclear weapons.
Rep. Quigley sits on the House Appropriations Committee and has long advocated for overhauling unlimited defense spending. Earlier this month he attempted to cut $23.7 million in wasteful funding for the B61 nuclear bomb program and has previously offered legislation to cut the DDG-51 Destroyer. He is the author of Reinventing Government: The Federal Budget, a report which offers 60 recommendations to save $2 trillion over the next 10 years.