Defense

September 19, 2012

Air Force officials describe ICBM way-ahead

As intercontinental ballistic missiles gain prominence in the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise, service officials related the importance of maintaining the system during the 2012 Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington, D.C., Sept. 18.

Panelists included Maj. Gen. William Chambers, assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration; retired Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, senior fellow for strategic studies and arms control council on foreign relations; and Elbridge Colby, global strategic affairs principal analyst, CNA.

“The ICBM is stabilizing, lethal, responsive, survivable and highly credible,” Chambers said, adding that he sees ICBM as a homeland-based force that maintains strategic stability and supports conflict resolution below the nuclear threshold.

“It does this by imposing great costs on any would-be aggressor and denying any adversary a nuclear coercion option,” he explained.

Chambers also noted that ICBMs are among the most reliable and inexpensive strategic systems to operate and maintain.

“In fiscal year 2011, the Air Force provided an ICBM capability to the nation for one percent of the overall Air Force budget,” Chambers said. “That’s not a lot of money for the overall global stability that this force provides America.”

While some advocates of deep reductions have called for total elimination of ICBM, the panel assured that the ICBM is essential to deterrence and strategic stability.

“If the ICBM were eliminated, the number of strategic targets an adversary would have to attack to seriously undermine or even destroy the U.S. nuclear deterrent force would be reduced from more than 500 to perhaps a dozen,” Klotz said.

The panel underscored the importance of maintaining the ICBM in the 21st century.

“It’s very important to think about new capabilities and maintaining the same fundamental approach to deterrence – putting the fear into your opponent so you don’t ever have to go to war,” Colby said.

The panelists acknowledged that though opinions may vary about ICBM’s future,

the system must continue to progress.

“The most pressing task is to work toward a broad, national consensus on the steps that need to be taken to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal in the years ahead and to demonstrate real … purpose in achieving them,” Klotz said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>