To advance that goal, the president should reconsider the Defense Department’s effort to develop a new nuclear weapon called the Long-Range Standoff Weapon.
The Air Force is set next year to accelerate the development of this new nuclear cruise missile. It would carry an upgraded W-80 nuclear warhead and be able to penetrate the world’s most advanced air-defense systems.
We agree that a safe, reliable nuclear stockpile is needed. Our backgrounds, voting records and entire careers show that we understand and value the deterrent effect of our nuclear stockpile. However, building new nuclear weapons like this one could be unnecessary, costly and dangerous.
Like our current nuclear cruise missile, the Long-Range Standoff Weapon could strike an adversary’s territory from great distances. But there are compelling reasons not to introduce a cruise missile that could increase the risk of nuclear war.