The announcement of the hearing is here – RB
Former Sec Def: Long-Range Stand-Off Missile a Step to New Cold War
Bryant Jordan, Military.com, Jul 14 2016
William Perry, who served as Sec Def from 1993 to 1997 under Clinton 42, told the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday that he supported a modernization of the country’s nuclear triad, but going ahead with development and deployment of the long-range stand-off cruise missile (LRSO) only makes nuclear holocaust more likely. Perry has been open about his opposition to the LRSO for some time. Though none of the Congress critturs asked and he did not elaborate, Perry has previously said that warming relations and cooperation that Pindostan and Russia enjoyed after the collapse of the Soviet Union began to fall apart when Pindostan moved aggressively to expand NATO into Eastern Europe. Bush 41 reportedly pledged NATO would not push eastward. That changed during the presidency of Clinton 42. Though he agrees that Russia has engaged in reckless actions, in particular in Georgia, Crimea and Ukraine, he said that Pindostan bears some responsibility for its current relationship with Russia. He said:
Starting in the 1990s, a series of questionable policy decisions in Pindostan alienated us from Russia. We’re now today on the threshold of a new Cold War. We’re on the threshold of a new nuclear arms race. In the first years after Russia shook off communism, Pindostan and Russia cooperated in dismantling 8,000 nuclear weapons. Russia even embedded a brigade into a Pindo military division for a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. So at that time, I believed we had ended the Cold War, that we had ended the threat of a nuclear holocaust. That was not to be. In addition but not related to that, there’s a rising threat of nuclear terrorism and a regional nuclear war. For all these reasons, I assert today the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe is actually greater than it was during the Cold War. To go ahead with the LRSO is to accept heightened danger of a nuclear catastrophe as inevitable. Should we accept it as inevitable? If not, where do we draw the line? We can reject a modernization program that would increase the risk of a nuclear war by accident or miscalculation. If I believed not having the LRSO would jeopardize our ability to deter a nuclear threat from any adversary, I would support it.
Perry’s warnings against moving ahead with the LRSO were not endorsed by former Clinton 42 Deputy Sec Def John Hamre, who said:
The program already is fully funded. It’s not about trying to use it. It’s about having flexibility. The LRSO can be air-launched from about 1,500 miles from its target, so it’s less provocative than ICBMs. It will be flown aboard aircraft that if necessary can be recalled before launch. I don’t accept that cruise missiles, because they can carry either nuclear or conventional bombs, can confuse a potential adversary who might respond to a conventional bomb launch with a nuclear weapon. I don’t think it’s a plausible argument that people will be confused about what we’re doing.
Franklin Miller, who served as special assistant on defense policy and arms control to Bush 43, said:
The launch of a conventional weapon and the launch of a nuclear weapon occur in context. So the launch of cruise missiles against Iraq, or indeed the launch of Russian cruise missile against Syria, did not raise any questions of nuclear use.
Both men also pointed out that Russia is busy rebuilding its conventional and nuclear forces, already has new weapons deployed, and that Russia would launch a nuclear first strike if it believed its territory was threatened. Russia has also engaged in military exercises designed to combat Pindostan and European vassals, they said. Advocates of the LRSO believe it is necessary to ensure that Pindostan can strike deep into contested airspace with a nuclear weapon if necessary without relying on manned bombers. The modernization program, including the LRSO, has backing from much of Congress and the White House. Ranking member Sen Dianne Feinstein said:
Nobody ever talks about the impact of these bombs, about what they do. It’s always deterrence, it’s always more, more, more, newer, newer, newer. It’s hard for me to accept this as the answer, because the answer to it really lies in reason and understanding and diplomacy and work between leaders. What is not needed is a hardening of attitude when both sides are developing new nuclear weapons. As a woman, I think about what these bombs would do if dropped. It’s not mentioned by the men, ever, but it’s a very big deal if you vote for this.