Top GOP Lawmaker: US Must Consider Building New Nukes – By Paul D. Shinkman June 23, 2015 | 4:41 p.m. EDT

Troubling times today for the Cold War-era weapon could mean certain dangers for the near future.

A deactivated Titan II nuclear ICMB is seen in a silo at the Titan Missile Museum on May 12, 2015, in Green Valley, Ariz. After years without talk of building new nuclear weapons, the U.S. should consider the issue, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said Tuesday.

America needs to replace a rotting arsenal of nuclear weapons and counteract an increasingly boisterous Russia, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Tuesday. For these reasons, it must consider the long-taboo prospect of building new nukes.

“Can we have a national conversation about building new nuclear weapons?” Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said in remarks at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. “That’s something we haven’t been able to even have a conversation about for a while, but I think we’re going to have to.”

Russia to add 40 new intercontinental missiles this year

Just last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his plans to boost the former Soviet power’s nuclear arsenal with 40 new missiles. The plan follows a string of provocative comments from top Russian officials who consider a nuclear weapon the most effective method of countering what they consider NATO’s provocative actions in Eastern Europe.

“Russia obviously retains the right if needed to deploy its nuclear weapons anywhere on its national territory, including on the Crimean Peninsula,” Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the Russian Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, said in early June.

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