Trump-Era Naval Nuke Axed in Biden Military Budget

The Chief of Naval Operations expressed his approval for the sea-launched ballistic missile development program being eliminated from the proposed military spending.

This would happen during the fiscal year 2023 during the Biden presidency. 

On Tuesday, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro spoke before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He stated he did not agree with the opinions of a few other defense officials who have said the SLCM-N program needs to be maintained. 

Most Expensive in History

His comments were made during a hearing that was held to examine the Navy’s requested expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year.

Del Toro, Admiral Michael Gilday, who is the Chief of Naval Operations, and General David Berger, who is the Commandant of the Marine Corps, all testified simultaneously. 

Late in the month of March, the administration of President Biden presented its request for the national defense portion of the fiscal 2023 budget. This totaled more than $813 billion, with $773 billion designated for the Department of Defense.

Although the price tag is the most expensive in the history of this nation, it was developed before Russia attacked Ukraine.

It was also developed before the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation reached its highest rate in 40 years at the end of March. Despite this, the price tag is still the most expensive in the country’s history. 

Given the unexpected rise in inflation, some members of Congress affiliated with the Republican Party have contended that Biden did not allot sufficient funds for the Department of Defense. 

Numerous Choices

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, stated in front of the House Armed Services Committee at the beginning of April, “this president, or any president, needs to have numerous choices to deal with national security situations.”

Additionally, during his confirmation in 2019, he stated in written answers that sea-launched ballistic missile warheads “are essential to facilitate our adaptable and tailored missile defense strategy as we revitalize aging nuclear forces.” 

In addition, Admiral Chas Richard, the head of the United States Strategic Command, testified before lawmakers that he thought termination of this program would result in “a deterrence and assurance gap.”

During his testimony on Capitol Hill, General Tod Wolters, who is in charge of the United States European Command, told lawmakers he concurs with Richard’s position. 

During a visit to Capitol Hill, the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, attempted to play down the gravity of the situation by stating, “the limited capability this provides is far outweighed by the expense.” 

The proposed budget has also been defended by the secretary, who stated, “clearly, at the time we snapped the chalk line and constructed the budget, inflation was at a different place than it is now.”

“However, because of this money, we now have the flexibility to pursue the kinds of things we believe are necessary for us to be successful.”