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GOP, Defense Experts Fear Russia's Growing Nuke Arsenal Puts NATO Allies in Danger

GOP, Defense Experts Fear Russia's Growing Nuke Arsenal Puts NATO Allies in Danger
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said the admnistration's reluctance to grow the country's nuclear arsenal could "directly impact" the security of U.S. allies. (Sean Rayford/Stringer Getty Images)

Monday, 05 April 2021 11:53 AM EDT

Some congressional Republicans and defense experts are worried Russia's surging nuclear arsenal is putting NATO allies in danger, and that President Joe Biden needs to get tougher, the The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday.

Alan Mendoza, the executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, a British think tank, told the news outlet Europe needs more than Biden's harsh words for Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime.

"The world is going to get more rather than less dangerous … that should surely reflect itself back into U.S. defense policy," Mendoza told the Free Beacon. "What actually needs to be felt in Europe is that the U.S. will be there to support its NATO allies on the front lines."

Britain has also sounded the alarm on Russia’s growing nuclear arms, the news outlet reported. A March security review from London recommended a 40% increase in Britain’s nuke stockpile, Reuters reported. 

"A challenge is that despite the U.S.'s concerted efforts to reduce the role of nuclear weapons … our adversaries since 2010 are doing the opposite," Major Gen. Ferdinand Stoss, the director of plans and policy at U.S. Strategic Command, told the Free Beacon. "We have to make sure that our nuclear triad is safe, secure, and effective. If it’s not, we won't be able to honor our extended deterrence commitments."

According to the Free Beacon, however, Biden and Democrats in Congress are signaling they don’t want to grow or modernize America’s nuclear arsenal. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, said the Biden administration stance could "directly impact" the security of our allies.

"Many of our allies rely on America’s nuclear umbrella for protection instead of their own nuclear programs," Wilson told the Free Beacon. "If the Biden administration fails to modernize our nuclear [weapons], the United States and our NATO allies will be more vulnerable to near-peer competitors Russia and China. … The United Kingdom in particular would be directly impacted."

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said a weakened nuclear posture would also hurt other European allies.

"Our European allies understand the importance of countering Russia and China’s growing threats and that a strong alliance is required to counter both simultaneously," Bacon told the news outlet. "The push for unilateral reductions in our nuclear force is not only misguided, but it will undermine our ability to maintain a strong, credible alliance with our European partners and hurt NATO’s ability to deter Russian and Chinese aggression." 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin hasn’t yet publicly made clear his own approach to building up the nation's nuclear weapons, the Free Beacon noted.

The concerns come as officials from Iran and the United States are expected to travel this week to Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and global powers, though no direct talks are expected. 

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Politics
Some congressional Republicans and defense experts are worried Russia's surging nuclear arsenal is putting NATO allies in danger...
NATO, russia, nuclear, buildup
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2021-53-05
Monday, 05 April 2021 11:53 AM
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