Un-nuking Some B-52s?

The new START treaty has eliminated what are known as “phantom strategic delivery vehicles,” James Miller, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, told the Senate Armed Services Committee at an April 22 hearing on the nuclear posture review. Miller said the previous START agreement counted vehicles no longer associated with the nuclear mission and that included the strategic submarines and B-1 bombers that were converted to conventional only. That change, explained Miller, allows “us to take a number of delivery vehicle off the books.” And, he continued, if current nuclear-capable bombers are rendered conventional only, “that would take them off the books” and added that “we are looking at that possibility for some B-52Hs.”