Jeffrey LewisCBO on Nuclear and Missile Defense Cuts

The Congressional Budget Office has released Budget Options (February 2005), which presents options to the House and Senate for altering federal spending and revenues.

Among the cuts to national defense spending, CBO examined several options relating to nuclear weapons and missile defense, including:

  • Option 050-12 Reduce the Trident Submarine Force to 12 and Buy 48 Fewer D5 Missiles.
  • Option 050-18 Terminate the Airborne Laser Program.
  • Option 050-19 Terminate Future Satellites of the Space Tracking and Surveillance System Program.
  • Option 050-20 Cancel Development of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System After Fielding the Testbed/Initial Defensive Capability.
  • Option 050-21 Cancel the Space-Based Radar Program.

I am a particularly big fan of Option 050-20, which “would cancel development and deployment of the GMD system after Block 2004.” The option retain continues to use the Block 2004 GMD segment to conduct testing and would retains Block 2004’s “partial defensive capability” against ballistic missiles launched from North Korea.

CBO estimates that canceling follow-on blocks would save $1.9 billion in budget authority in 2006 and $13 billion over the 2006-2015 period.