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Nuclear Warhead Life Extension Actually Works

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Last week, the JASON study on the viability of service life extension for the US nuclear arsenal appeared in several places. The conclusions were reassuring; there is no reason to believe that the US nuclear arsenal will degrade in the next several decades, assuming basic maintenance and life-extension procedures are carried out. This means that the US deterrent is “secure,” although the circumstances under which it might have become insecure are highly suspect. This ain’t good for those who’ve been arguing for RRW (Reliable Replacement Warhead), who have by and large put their money on the unreliability argument. This isn’t the only argument in favor of RRW, but it sounds better than the alternatives, which include anti-arms control fetishism, the need to continue pouring money into nuclear labs, and the desire to nuke the hell out of countries that piss us off. More on the last, which acquired newfound “respectability” in latest issue of Foreign Affairs, later.

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