Draft Nuclear Posture Review Seeks to Advance Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons Devt

Frederick Owens
January 19, 2018

The Pentagon plans to build two new nuclear weapons to keep up with the modernizing arsenals of Russian Federation and China, according to a comprehensive Department of Defense review on the USA military's nuclear capabilities, sparking heated debate about the strategy: Will it bolster the US military's ability to deter threats, or make a nuclear war more likely?

The suggestion marks a dramatic expansion of what the US believes warrants a first use of nuclear weapons, the Times noted. It would take about two years to produce.

The US Department of Defense wants to reexamine its nuclear arsenal and develop a new type of weapons with limited power, which raises fears proliferation and a higher risk of nuclear conflict.

The other is a nuclear-tipped cruise missile, a revival of a system that had been dropped from the arsenal in 2010.

This is something some in the USA military brass have been pushing for years, with an eye toward the acquisition of "low-yield" nuclear weapons that officials could readily use in situations where they would now be unthinkable.

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"Russia is also developing at least two new intercontinental range systems, a hypersonic glide vehicle and a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed undersea autonomous torpedo".

Many critics disagree with these lines of thinking, but the proposals appear to have broad support within the Pentagon.

The HuffPost last week was the first to publish a draft of the document.

He argues that fewer, more powerful nuclear weapons would counter the "misplaced confidence" of USA enemies in the belief that Washington will never use its conventional, too powerful and destructive nuclear weapons.

No strategy has been approved by Trump yet, but he has not been shy in the past about his enthusiasm for more nuclear weapons. "To be clear, this is not meant to enable, nor does it enable, 'nuclear war-fighting.'" The draft said this would make the deployment of nuclear weapons "less likely". It breaks with the vision of former President Barack Obama who, in 2009 in Prague, called for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.

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