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Is the U.S. losing its ability to ensure reliability of its nuclear weapons arsenal?

A world without nukes would be nice, but since they’re here we ought to ensure they are reliable

(NationalSentinelDefense: The United States military is the most technologically advanced force the world has ever known, but one of the key pillars of defense is our nuclear arsenal.

But because we’ve been treaty-bound for decades against being able to conduct underground testing of warheads and other nuclear-related technologies, we may be permanently losing the ability to ensure our arsenal is reliable enough to work if, God forbid, it is ever needed.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon:

The United States is losing the capability to conduct underground nuclear tests that could be needed in the future to gauge the reliability of the nuclear arsenal.

According to John C. Hopkins, former head of nuclear testing at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Energy Department needs to bolster testing capabilities that could be needed in a future national emergency.

“With every day that passes, the United States grows more out of practice and out of resources—including the most important resource: people with experience—that are critical to nuclear testing,” Hopkins stated in an article published Wednesday in the Los Alamos newsletter.

He urged the three national laboratories, Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia, to set up a unified test preparation program.

“The time delay following the decision to resume testing would, in my opinion, be dangerously long,” Hopkins said, adding that archiving of past testing procedures should be carried out right away.

Hopkins is one of a declining number of experts who have actually conducted nuclear weapons testing. He took part in five atmospheric tests in the Pacific and 170 tests in Nevada through the 1980s, the WFB reported.

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President Donald J. Trump told Reuters last month he would rather live in a world free of nuclear weapons, but since they exist, the U.S. should have the most advanced, most capable nuclear force in existence.

“I am the first one that would like to see nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power,” he said.

“It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack,” the president said.

In December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would be bolstering its nuclear forces and Trump said the U.S. would do the same.

© 2017 USA Features Media

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