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Washington: Democrat Joe Biden leaves little doubt that if elected, he would try to scale back President Donald Trump’s buildup in nuclear weapons spending. And although the former vice president has not fully detailed his nuclear priorities, he says he would make the U.S. less reliant on the world’s deadliest weapons.
The two candidates’ views on nuclear weapons policy and strategy carry unusual significance in this election because the United States is at a turning point in deciding the future of its weapons arsenal and because of growing debate about the threat posed by Chinese and Russian nuclear advances.
China, whose relatively small nuclear force is growing in sophistication, is cited by the Pentagon’s top nuclear commander as a leading reason why the United States should go all out on nuclear modernization.
We are going into a very different world, Adm. Charles Richard, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, said Sept. 14. We are on a trajectory, for the first time in our nation’s history, to face two peer nuclear-capable competitors.
He was referring to Russia, which has long been a nuclear peer, and China, whose leaders Richard says have put a strategic nuclear buildup next on their to-do list.
Days later, Richard said China could become a peer by the end of the decade, if not sooner. But other estimates suggest a slower pace. (PTI)