US matching the Soviets in strategic arms -- Aspin

Despite claims by supporters of bigger US missile programs and defense budgets, US strategic weapons development has been keeping pace with the Soviets over the past decade, Rep. Les Aspin (D) of Wisconsin says. In an article published today (June 9) in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Representative Aspin argues that Soviet defense expenditures are far less cost-effective than US ones and that US weapons technology continues to be better.

"The Soviets spend more money and build brand new systems, we spend much less and improve on existing systems, but the result has been about the same," Mr. Aspin writes. This has left the United States ahead, he adds, in the number of newly deployed nuclear warheads, accuracy of missiles, hardening of silos, cruise missiles, avionics on US B-52 bombers, and effectiveness of missile-firing submarines.

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