'US a step closer to N-war with usable warheads'

14 January, 2018, 00:24 | Author: Leticia Riley
  • Trump administration set for more hawkish position on nuclear weapons

The overriding rationale for the development of the new "usable" Trident submarine-based cruise missiles is reportedly the Pentagon's contention that should the increasingly tense situation created by NATO's buildup of military forces on Russia's western border boil over into an armed conflict, Moscow would use low-yield tactical nuclear weapons with the expectation that the USA would not respond with an all-out thermonuclear attack.

"These supplements will enhance deterrence by denying potential adversaries any mistaken confidence that limited nuclear employment can provide a useful advantage over the United States and its allies", the draft said. This logic is insane.

The International Security Department's Dr Patricia Lewis and Dr Beyza Unal published the paper, Cybersecurity Of Nuclear Weapons Systems, which said the nine countries that have nuclear weapons often rely on strategic systems developed at a time when computers were "in their infancy".

The document, set to be released in February, defends the low-yield weapon initiative to retaliate against the conception among potential adversaries that the US nuclear arsenal is too lethal to ever be used. Investing huge sums this way is also unlikely to protect us from tomorrow's threats. "Russia is also developing at least two new intercontinental range systems, a hypersonic glide vehicle, and a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, undersea autonomous torpedo", the review says.

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Making matters worse, Mr. Trump, in a separate decision on Friday, continued to put the 2015 deal that froze Iran's nuclear program in jeopardy.

The Trump plan argues that the United States is falling behind in the arms race. Although he again stopped short of reimposing sanctions, his demands would effectively require renegotiating the deal, something the other parties to the agreement have refused to do. Furthermore, if new designs are pursued, nuclear testing is more likely. In other words, Mr. Trump's approach makes no sense. They made significant, although insufficient, progress.

The document, called the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, lays out what appears to be a new approach to nuclear deterrence that relies on acquiring weapons with comparatively "low"-level destructive capabilities meant to convince nations like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea that the USA has weapons in its arsenal that it would hypothetically be willing to use. Whether it's assigning the defense secretary and attorney general a role in certifying a launch order, requiring a congressional declaration of war before the first use of nuclear weapons, or ending the policy of nuclear first use entirely, any of these common-sense measures would reduce the risk we now face". But early indications suggest the new NPR will expand the contingencies that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. America's conventional military is more than strong enough to defend against most threats. The Pentagon alleges in the draft that Russian Federation thinks launching a limited nuclear strike first may offer an advantage, in part because it has a variety of small nuclear weapons at its disposal. Expanding the instances when America might use nuclear weapons could also make it easier for other nuclear-armed countries to justify using their own arsenals against adversaries.

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