Washington D-C – A sweeping defense bill headed to the
president's desk includes a provision urging the Pentagon to
maintain 500 nuclear missiles in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota.
The legislation calls on the Pentagon to keep all the missiles,
stating that it is national policy not to decrease the current
Senators from the three states authored the provision before an
upcoming Pentagon policy review.
The nation's nuclear missile stockpile has been slowly reduced
since the end of the Cold War, and officials have indicated they
are considering whether the number should be lowered further.
The missiles are based at F-E Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne,
Wyoming, Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana, and and
Minot Air Force Base in Minot, North Dakota.
Senator Conrad Burns, a Republican from Montana, said the
provision sends an appropriate message to the Pentagon. He said
Pentagon officials need to understand the importance of maintaining
the nation's strong nuclear posture.
President Bush is expected to sign the bill. It would also
require the humane treatment of foreign terrorism suspects and
directs the president to submit quarterly reports to Congress on
military operations in Iraq.