Deputy Secretary: Nuclear Posture Review is 'Tailored Nuclear Deterrent Strategy'

Marie Harrington
February 4, 2018

It also accused Washington of "irresponsible actions" that have led to the "unbalancing of the [international] arms control mechanism".

The 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review released on February 2 states that the world has seen "the return of Great Power competition" and again puts Russian Federation at the core of U.S. nuclear strategy.

A nuclear war doesn't have to be the end of the world, according to the US government's latest Nuclear Posture Review.

The document tries to justify this as a way to deter Russian Federation, arguing that Russian Federation doesn't view the current USA posture as threatening enough, and that getting the U.S. even more weapons, including smaller-yield ones they might well use more readily, would really intimidate them.

Such a posture marked a departure from the nuclear policy advocated by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama who pledged in 2009 to pursue a "world without nuclear weapons".

The Pentagon is adamant the Nuclear Posture Review walks the line between maintaining a nuclear deterrence and encouraging controls on nuclear weapons.

The US military is anxious about the nuclear arsenal becoming obsolete and potential threats from countries such as China, North Korea and Iran.

If some these threats that we're facing in cyber and space are so great, why not invest some of the $1.7 trillion we are going to spend on the nuclear arsenal and actually improve our cyber-capabilities?

More news: CIA Director Defends Meeting With Russian Spy Chiefs

In addition, a new nuclear-armed cruise missile launched from naval vessels would be developed, a process likely to take years. For example, when few if any nuclear weapons can reach capitals without strategic warning, any indications of an attack or detonation might not require rapid action; but a situation in which both Russian Federation and America/NATO have fast-flying, stealthy nuclear delivery systems and relations are poor, crisis instability is high.

"We want to see a world that is free of nuclear weapons, but our nuclear policy needs to be rooted in the reality of the world we live in, where aggressive regimes like North Korea threaten us and our allies with their pursuit of illegal nuclear and ballistic weapons".

The focus on Russian Federation is in line with the Pentagon shifting priorities from the fight against Islamist militants to "great power competition" with Moscow and Beijing.

The United States already has a massive nuclear arsenal, including 150 B-61 nukes stored across multiple European countries that can be configured for low-yield options.

Significant and sustained investments in personnel and funding at the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories are among a number of priorities outlined by the Trump administration Friday in an updated policy approach for how the United States will develop and potentially deploy nuclear weapons.

U.S. officials argue that since the last nuclear review, Russian Federation has expanded and modernized its non-strategic nuclear weapons, annexed Crimea in 2014, and deployed a ground-launched cruise missile that breaches the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

Despite being called low-yield, the weapons are extremely deadly.

The United States will also incorporate nuclear capability onto the F-35 bombers, which would be used as a replacement for the current aging dual-capable aircraft.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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