The Pentagon’s budget, like other federal expenditures, will come under new pressure regardless of the outcome of the election, forcing some of the major acquisitions programs to cut or shrink. . The Biden administration is expected to scrutinize a series of specific programs: nuclear weapons.
One program considered particularly vulnerable is a Long Range Stand-by Weapon, or LRSO, an air-launched cruise missile expected to be fitted on the Air Force’s B-2 bomber. and future B-21 bombers and are being developed by Raytheon.
The trio of land-based nuclear, intercontinental ballistic missiles deployed in underground vaults across the western US, are also expected to be under new surveillance.
But the $ 13 billion contract was awarded by the Air Force on September 8 to Northrop Grumman for so-called ground-based Strategic Deterrence, and it may be difficult for the upcoming administration to return.
However, “I know in the Biden administration, the need for the ICBM force will be a point of debate, as is the LRSO,” said Robert Work, who served as Deputy Secretary of Defense in both the Obama and Trump administrations. . “There will be debates about whether those are necessary or not.”
Along with the changes to the nuclear weapons portfolio will likely be a new emphasis on arms control treaties.
The Democrat platform targets what party leaders see as a reckless abandonment of the Trump administration to a number of other nuclear and weapons treaties with Russia, including the Treaty of Nuclear Forces. mid-range multiplier and Open Sky Treaty. Trump withdrew from both.
Its dire nuclear threats, withdrawal from major arms control treaties and nuclear agreements, and the reckless imposition of a new arms race has left the United States and so on. gender becomes less secure ”, the foundation writes.
Biden might have an early chance to go in the other direction.
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which limits the number of nuclear weapons deployed by both sides to 1,550, expires February 5, 2021, just weeks after taking office, except when Washington and Moscow agreed to extend it for up to five years.
Trump administration officials have signaled that they are ready to extend if they can get a Russian deal to temporarily freeze all nuclear weapons while negotiating a new treaty that includes a variety of weapons. more atoms. But last year, Biden pledged to extend it regardless of the allowed five-year term, calling New START “anchors of strategic stability” and “the foundation for new arms control agreements”.
The power of war
Biden also pledged to go against the Trump administration when it comes to powers in presidential warfare. That means reconnecting with Congress to deregulate and rewrite Military Force Use Permits. Congress first approved that in 2001 to wage war on terror, and then again in 2002 before the US led the invasion of Iraq.
“We will use force only when necessary to protect national security and when the goal is clear and achievable – with the informed consent of the American people and if warranted, the agreement of the National Assembly “, the platform of the Democratic Party stated. “That’s why we will work with Congress to deregulate decades of mandates for the use of military force and replace them with a narrow and concrete framework to ensure we have can protect Americans from terrorist threats while ending their wars forever. “
To be sure, that’s something the Obama administration has tried but failed to find bipartisan consensus on, on Capitol Hill.