A well-intentioned yet a doomed futile political initiative has been launched in the US House of Representatives and Senate.
The Investing in Cures Before Missiles (ICBM) Act, introduced in the House and Senate on Friday, would stop funding on the proposed new missile, known as the ground-based strategic deterrent (GBSD) which is projected to cost a total of $264bn over its projected lifespan, and discontinue spending on a linked warhead modification program to transfer $1bn in funding from a controversial new intercontinental ballistic missile to the development of a universal Covid vaccine by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Niaid) for development work on a universal coronavirus vaccine.
“The United States should invest in a vaccine of mass prevention before another new land-based weapon of mass destruction,” Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts, co-author of the bill, said. “The ICBM Act makes clear that we can begin to phase out the cold-war nuclear posture that risks accidental nuclear war while still deterring adversaries and assuring allies, and redirect those savings to the clear and present dangers presented by coronaviruses and other emerging and infectious diseases.”
“With all of the global challenges we face, the last thing we should be doing is giving billions to defense contractors to build missiles we don’t need to keep as a strong nuclear deterrence,” Ro Khanna, Democratic congressman from California and the bill’s co-author in the House, said.
In September 2020, Northrop Grumman was awarded an uncontested bid for the $13.3bn engineering, manufacturing and development phase of GBSD.
Even so the proponents of this bill aren't totally humanitarian. They seek an independent study to “explore viable technical solutions to extend the Minuteman III” intercontinental ballistic missile to 2050.
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