Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on the Department of Defense’s release of the Nuclear Posture Review:
“The Nuclear Posture Review takes a number of steps in the right direction. For 70 years, we have relied on nuclear weapons to deter our most dangerous adversaries and provide the foundation for international stability. Yet since the end of the Cold War, we have let our nuclear capabilities atrophy under the false belief that the era of great power competition was over. As the new National Defense Strategy rightly acknowledges, we now face the renewed threat of competition from Russia and China—and we cannot ignore their investments in nuclear weapons in addition to conventional forces.
“In the Nuclear Posture Review, Secretary Mattis has reaffirmed the longstanding U.S. policy of considering nuclear use only in the most extreme circumstances. He has also recommended developing capabilities that were retired by previous administrations to bolster deterrence as we face increasingly capable adversaries. Implementing these proposals will require sustained funding for our nuclear program. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that will peak at 6.5% of the defense budget around 2030—a small price to pay for the cornerstone of our military capabilities.
“The Senate Armed Services Committee will conduct rigorous oversight of the proposals in this document, and we will work to provide the funding the Departments of Defense and Energy need to support them.”