The Cost of Teaching an Old Nuclear Weapon New Tricks

By Jon Letman, Truthout | Report – When the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan 69 years ago, the shadows of charred silhouettes etched against the ruins of shattered cities indelibly marked nuclear weapons as forbidden tools of war. The indiscriminate carnage wrought in Hiroshima by “Little Boy” (est. 15 kilotons) and Nagasaki by “Fat Man” (est. 20 kt) has, so far, not been repeated. But seven decades later, the United States continues to pursue more accurate, “lower-yield” nuclear bombs. Despite President Obama’s 2009 speech in Prague in which he stated “clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the United States plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on its own nuclear weapons upgrades, modernization and “life extension programs” (LEP). William Hartung, director for the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy,...

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