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Tobin Harshaw

America's Nuclear Arsenal Can Stand on Just Two Legs

Obama is right to boost the U.S. deterrent. But we don't need world-ending ICBMs.
Not necessary.

Not necessary.

Photographer: Michael Smith/Getty Images

It's one of the delicious ironies of the Barack Obama presidency that a man who came into office with lofty talk on nuclear nonproliferation would oversee the biggest modernization of the U.S. arsenal since the Cold War. His administration kick-started a $1 trillion nuclear upgrade initiative that, among other things, will refurbish eight major weapons labs and prolong the lives of the Pentagon's most important tactical nuclear bomb and submarine-based warhead.

For those of us who think there are more pressing issues than who gets to use what bathroom in North Carolina, this update is a legacy worth championing.