The Obama administration has historically insisted that its massive $1 trillion nuclear weapons modernization program does not represent a return to Cold War-era nuclear rivalry between Russia and the United States.

The hugely expensive undertaking, which calls for a slew of new cruise missiles, ICBMs, nuclear submarines, and long-range bombers over the next three decades, has been widely panned by critics as “wasteful,” “unsustainable,” “unaffordable,” and “a fantasy.”

The administration has pointed to aging missile silos, 1950s-era bombers, and other outdated technology to justify the spending, describing the steps as intended to maintain present capabilities going forward — not bulking up to prepare for a future confrontation.

Last year, speaking to NATO allies, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter insisted that “the Cold War playbook … is not suitable for the 21st century.”

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