From the Washington Post article
Twenty years from now, how many nuclear warheads on strategic submarines will the United States need? That’s not an abstract question. The country is engaged in a costly, ambitious modernization of its nuclear weapons complex and development of a new generation of delivery systems — new strategic submarines, bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles that will be operating more than 50 years from now.
Start with the Navy’s plan for 12 new SSBN-X strategic submarines to replace the 14 Ohio-class subs now in service. A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on the program, released Dec. 10, asks whether the Navy can stay within the cost targets for their procurement ($4.9 billion each) and whether each sub should carry 16 or 20 missiles.
But shouldn’t the questions be more basic, such as who is the enemy and how many subs would be needed to deter that enemy?