According to retired Air Force General Eugene Habiger, former head of the Strategic Command, maintaining 600 deployed nuclear warheads with 400 in reserve—1,000 in total—is more than enough capability to both deter aggressor states and to respond around the globe with overwhelming force should the United States need to retaliate to a nuclear strike. Moreover, significantly reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal would send a powerful signal to friends and allies alike that the United States seeks a world without nuclear weapons as President Barack Obama has stated. Reducing the U.S. stockpile would also reduce the salience of nuclear weapons and send the appropriate signal to hostile regimes that are currently seeking to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities.
Reducing the U.S. stockpile to 600 deployed and 400 reserve warheads could save the United States $12.0 billion in FY 2011. Eliminating spending on the Trident II missile can generate another $1.1 billion making total savings $13.1 billion.
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