While keeping an independent "nuclear deterrent" means a place at the negotiating table, it seems an expense that we can ill afford, specially considering the lamentable state of the equipment for forces that are engaged at the moment, and will be for some considerable time to come. Are the basic requirements for a valid nuclear deterrent (independent) still met: 1. A credible opponent is, or will be targeting you with nukes. 2. You WILL be prepared to deliver nuclear retaliation (polluting not only the intended target, but friendly territories nearby). 3. There is a target and adminstration that it is reasonable to retaliate against.