I think C. Puffs is 100% correct. Reducing the number of deployed warheads we have to the same number as Pakistan or something is just dumb. We've already reduced the number substantially, I think it's time for other parties to reduce theirs some more before we do anything.
Giving up our current strategic balance is suicide.
Seriously, the US could probably fulfill the deterrence role just as well with only the SSBNs.
Trident II SSBNs are almost undetectable and will survive a first strike.
What is the advantage of a land based ICBM anyway?
I can understand keeping a few air delivered weapons like B-61s for special missions like nuclear bunker busting or a very limited nuclear strike against a emerging nuclear power like North Korea or Pakistan, as they offer more flexibility.
The warheads of the SSBNs would be enough to eradicate both China or Russia or the major cities and military installations of both.
And regarding SSBNs, the russians are challenged by history and geography.
Russia lacks any unguarded access to the deep ocean except for the Pacific (which is coincidentially where the new SSBNs are based) plus their old SSBNs are not up to modern standards.
Land based missiles are cheaper, the russians probably could not afford a modern SSBN fleet as large as the US.
The US never invested that much into land based missile tech as the russians, or better they stopped this after the cold war.
My question was directed at the usefulness of the silo based Minuteman missiles the US has.
The US itself could not afford such a fleet of modern SSBNs if they had to build them from the scratch now, as the russians have to.
They (like the french and the british) got lucky that the new SSBNs came on line as the cold war ended.