File - This Jan. 9, 2014, file photo shows a mockup of a Minuteman 3 nuclear missile used for training by missile maintenance crews at F. E. (AP Photo/Robert Burns)
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The Air Force is quietly shrinking its deployed force of land-based nuclear missiles as part of a holdover Obama administration plan to comply with an arms control treaty with Russia.The reduction to 400 missiles from 450 is the first for the intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, force in a decade – when the arsenal came down from 500 such weapons. The Air Force says the latest cut in Minuteman 3 missiles will be completed in April, leaving the deployed ICBM arsenal at its smallest size since the early '60s.In 2014, President Barack Obama's administration announced the planned ICBM reduction to tailor the overall nuclear force, including bombers and nuclear-armed submarines, to the New START accord that the U.S. and Russia sealed in 2010 . The shrinking of the ICBM force runs counter, at least rhetorically, to Trump's belief that the U.S. has fallen behind Russia in nuclear muscle.
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