Are Nuclear Weapons Getting a Smaller Slice of the U.S. Budget Pie?

Henry L. Stimson's picture
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Has the percentage of U.S. federal budget dollars devoted to nuclear weapons activities declined in recent decades?

The answer, generally speaking, is yes, but what that means and whether it matters depends on who you talk to.

Sherman McCorkle cited the issue in an interview last month with Global Security Newswire. He leads a new Strategic Deterrent Coalition that is looking to convince Americans that maintaining existing nuclear weapons is essential to national security.

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However, "it is dramatically true" that the percentage of federal spending that nuclear-weapons activities account for is less than it once was, said Russell Rumbaugh, director of budgeting for foreign affairs and defense at the Stimson Center. This is "largely because the size of the U.S. budget has increased so much," he added.

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