The Cost of U.S. Nuclear Forces: From BCA to Bow Wave and Beyond

Since the Budget Control Act (BCA) was enacted in 2011, the cost of nuclear forces has received considerable attention because nearly every component of the triad is due for modernization. To execute these programs as currently planned, the Department of Defense (DoD) will need to increase funding for U.S. nuclear forces well above recent levels, creating additional pressure on an already-strained defense budget. This has led some to conclude that nuclear forces are "unaffordable."

In this new study, Todd Harrison and Evan Montgomery estimate the cost of U.S. nuclear forces over the next 25 years. While costs are projected to grow over the next decade due to a "bow wave" of nuclear modernization programs, they conclude that the search for savings in nuclear forces continues to be a "hunt for small potatoes."

The event will include opening remarks by Ambassador Eric Edelman and a presentation of the report and key findings by the authors, Todd Harrison and Evan Montgomery. Following the presentation, Ambassador Edelman will moderate a Q&A session.

The event is open to the press, congressional staffers, military and civilian DoD personnel, and other interested parties.  Space is limited; participants must RSVP in advance.

  • Evan Montgomery, Senior Fellow, CSBA
  • Eric Edelman, Counselor, CSBA
  • Todd Harrison, Former Senior Fellow, CSBA
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