Top U.S. general against reducing nuclear alert posture

Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton said President Obama’s campaign promise to "work with Russia to take ballistic missiles off hair-trigger alert" mischaracterizes the U.S. arsenal, and recommends against taking ICBM and submarine nuclear missiles off alert. Hans Kristensen of the Ploughshares-funded Federation of American Scientists remarked that President George H. W. Bush took "bombers off alert [in 1991] ... and no one has attacked us in almost two decades.” According to Kristensen, Russia retains approximately 1,200, while the U.S. keeps roughly 1,000 nuclear warheads that can be fired within minutes. Joe Cirincione and the Center for American Progress provided analysis of the upcoming U.S. nuclear posture review.

Global Security Newswire