Skip to main content

National Security Snapshot: Oversight of the DOD Nuclear Enterprise

GAO-24-106735 Published: Oct 26, 2023. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 2023.
Jump To:

Fast Facts

Modernizing the Department of Defense's aging nuclear weapon systems could cost up to $350 billion over the next 20 years. DOD must keep these modernization efforts on track while also supporting ongoing critical missions.

This Snapshot report summarizes our prior work on DOD's oversight of its nuclear missions and organizations. We've recommended ways to help DOD improve this oversight, including by

clarifying the roles and responsibilities of oversight organizations

establishing methods of communication and coordination among these organizations

reporting risks that affect the nuclear mission, such as increased costs or schedule changes

DOD needs to modernize the Air Force’s B-52 bomber, which has been in service since the 1960s

An image of a Air Force's B-52 bomber flying overhead in the sky.

Skip to Highlights


GAO has reported on the Department of Defense's efforts to oversee its nuclear enterprise. This report highlights some of the challenges GAO has identified, as well as key relevant GAO recommendations meant to address the challenges.

For more information, contact Joseph W. Kirschbaum, Director, Defense Capabilities and Management at (202) 512-9971 or

Full Report

Office of Public Affairs


Defense capabilitiesMilitary forcesNational securityNuclear deterrenceNuclear securityNuclear weapons stockpileSubmarinesWeapon systemsSocial mediaCommunications