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GAO Outlines DoD’s Planned Nuclear Force Structure Under Arms Reduction Treaty With Russia

stealth_bomberThe Defense Department plans to retain 240 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 60 heavy bombers as part DoD’s New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.

The Government Accountability Office said Thursday DoD considered nuclear force reductions as part of reviews after the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review such as the 2013 Strategic Choices Management Review and DoD’s 2014 plan to implement New START.

GAO assessed DoD’s analysis that supports the latter’s decision to retain all legs of the nuclear triad.

DoD identified that the nuclear triad’s sea-based leg will support survivability; the ground-based ICBM’s will aid stability; and the bombers’ will contribute its capacity to forward deploy.

Pentagon officials told GAO that the administration considered different options for the U.S. nuclear force structure such as the elimination of one leg of the triad.

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