Congress Seeks New Direction for Nuclear Strategy

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Congress is moving to change the direction of the Bush administration's nuclear weapons program by demanding the development of a comprehensive post-Sept. 11, 2001, nuclear strategy before it approves funding a new generation of warheads.

"Currently there exists no convincing rationale for maintaining the large number of existing Cold War nuclear weapons, much less producing additional warheads," the House Appropriations Committee said in its report, released last week, on the fiscal 2008 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. The full House is expected to vote on the measure this week.

The Bush administration had sought $88 million for the Reliable Replacement Warhead program next year so that cost and engineering studies could be completed and a decision could be reached on congressional approval to build the first RRW model, with the first new warheads ready by 2012.

The House already passed the fiscal 2008 Defense Authorization Bill, which reduced RRW funding and called for development of a new nuclear weapons strategy before steps are taken to produce new warheads...

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