US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has ordered the military to immediately review the US’s overall nuclear weapons policy document after learning that weapons systems in the nuclear arsenal are over six decades old and some still run on floppy disk.
Before President Trump took office, he tweeted that the US “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such times as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
After taking office Defense Secretary James Mattis was disgusted to learn that decades of deferring modernization mean that some long-range bombers are more than 60 years old, certain control and command systems still run on eight-inch floppy disks and some intercontinental ballistic missile silos have fallen into disuse and disrepair.
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“Today, Secretary Mattis directed the commencement of the review, [Nuclear Posture Review], which will be led by the deputy secretary of defense and the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and include interagency partners,” Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement Monday.
“The process will culminate in a final report to the president by the end of the year.”
The Pentagon officially launched the Nuclear Posture Review today. Know the basics: https://t.co/FAswwMhU4l pic.twitter.com/2hZXDfNHC7
— Aaron Mehta (@AaronMehta) April 17, 2017
The Pentagon is preparing to spend billions of dollars over the next 15 years to modernize and purchase the new B-21 bomber, an updated fleet of nuclear submarines, and new intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as new command and control capabilities, according to Defense News.
According to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Pentagon is under orders to urgently modernize its floppy systems – which currently coordinate intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft – by the end of 2017.