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The push by Congress to restore nuclear weapon capabilities of the B-52 bombers is more of a “political statement,” retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

“Nuclear armed B-52s, instead of serving as a signal to an enemy that nuclear war can be prevented even after launch as it was throughout the Cold War, today would simply be a late-to-the-party nuclear suicide drill,” remarked the retired US Air Force officer.

She lamented the fact that there are currently “no statesmen in the West interested in preventing nuclear war, as we had during the Cold War.”

The idea of upgrading the conventional B-52 bombers comes amid setbacks and failures in developing US hypersonic standoff weapons, she added.

“Putting nukes back on the upgraded B-52 is a band-aid that covers that,’ said the ex- DoD analyst.

Money from the defense lobby explains why Congress pushed through the amendments to the FY25 policy legislation allowing for the upgrade, said the expert, adding:

“The initiative will be costly and profitable for the defense industry, and in practical terms, it keeps the B-52 in the game for taxpayer dollars.”

Newly-passed US Senate and House defense policy bills for fiscal year 2025 contain funding for restoring nuclear weapon capabilities on some 30 B-52H Stratofortress bombers. The Pentagon, however, is reportedly more keen on investing in the next generation nuclear-capable B-21 bomber as the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is set to expire in February 2026.

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