Nuclear modernization is going to be a costly endeavor, but how much will it truly cost. The modernization debate throws out varying numbers without addressing what the numbers mean. Rather than argue over numbers this article asserts that the debate should revolve around the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. defense strategy and if the cost is worth the investment.
This inaugural report in the Defense Outlook Series looks back at what happened in 2015, specifically with respect to strategy and the security environment, the debate in Congress over the defense budget and force structure, and changes in the acquisition system, and looks ahead to what these developments may mean in 2016 and beyond.
This report details the plans for major acquisition programs over the next fifteen years and explores the complicating factors that may make the situation more problematic for policymakers. It analyzes a range of options to mitigate the bow wave, including increasing the budget, cutting additional force structure, and making trades among major acquisition programs.