- The Washington Times - Friday, February 21, 2020

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper played himself in a nuclear arms war game during his recent trip to U.S. Strategic Command headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb., a top Pentagon official confirmed Friday.

During the exercise - which was only a demonstration, a Pentagon spokesman later pointed out - U.S. and Russian military forces exchanged nuclear rounds. The exact target locations weren’t known but the ersatz conflict was confined to Europe.

In addition to participating in the exercise, Mr. Esper also visited a nuclear ICBM facility and a B-52 bomber unit. The visit was part of the Trump Administration’s drive to modernize the U.S. nuclear forces. The President’s FY 21 budget request includes $28.9 billion for the upgrade.

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