America's creaky defenses against a surprise nuclear attack are stuck in the Cold War past

Quietly scattered in the air, on land, and at sea, the United States maintains 1,597 strategic nuclear weapons to protect it against surprise nuclear attack. Each is 15 times larger than the bomb that devastated Hiroshima.

Collectively, America's nukes pack more firepower than what was expended in all past wars combined, enough to send any country back to the Dark Ages.

They are also growing increasingly old and expensive to replace. The U.S. government plans to spend $350 billion over the...

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