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Topic - Hans Kristensen
The U.S. will keep its current force of 450 land-based nuclear missiles but remove 50 from their launch silos as part of a plan to bring the U.S. into compliance with a 2011 U.S.-Russia arms control treaty, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
The Obama administration's consideration of severe cuts in nuclear weapons generated a flurry of GOP criticism — "reckless lunacy" in the words of Arizona Rep. Trent Franks. But the historical record shows that in the two decades since the Cold War ended, Republicans have been the boldest cutters of the nuclear arsenal.
"This decision appears to have more to do with the administration surrendering to the ICBM caucus (in Congress) than with strategic considerations about national security," he said in an email exchange.
He says the U.S. had 203 deployed ICBMs in 1962, with the force expanding rapidly to 597 the following year and topping 1,000 in 1966.