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Pentagon Adding New Nuclear Capabilities, Keeping Nuclear Triad to Deter Attacks

04 February, 2018, 01:36 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Russia and the U.S. fly at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow Russia

The Nuclear Posture Review is a step in the right direction wholly consistent with a bipartisan consensus on US nuclear weapons policy post Russia's 2014 invasion of Ukraine.

"Our strategy will ensure Russian Federation understands that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is unacceptable", the document states.

"As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression", he said.

The two systems-including lower-yield nuclear weapons deployed on submarine-launched ballistic missiles and new nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles-are, the NPR argues, more usable and therefore seen as a more credible deterrent.

United States officials argued that expanding the US's own low-yield nuclear capability would deter Russian Federation from using nuclear weapons.

The possession of such weapons coupled with a doctrine stating the right to a pre-emptive strike drastically increases the risk of a nuclear war even in "low-intensity conflicts", the Russian ministry said.

"Russia considers the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to be the principal threats to its contemporary geopolitical ambitions", the report says.

The NPR reaffirms that the fundamental role of USA nuclear policy is deterrence and continues the clear commitment to non-proliferation and arms control, Shanahan said in a Pentagon press briefing.

Just as the White House is caught in a political minefield over the Russian Federation investigation, the Pentagon is taking its toughest line yet against Russia's resurgent nuclear forces.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he ordered Mattis to conduct the Nuclear Posture Review within days of taking office past year.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Trump said that the conclusions of the NPR "are grounded in a realistic assessment of the global security environment, the need to deter the use of the most destructive weapons on earth, and our nation's long-standing commitment to nuclear non-proliferation". Known officially as a nuclear posture review, and customarily done at the outset of a new administration, the report drew blistering criticism from arms control groups.

She added the administration was blurring the line between nuclear and conventional war-fighting.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the NPR will allow the U.S.to remain "flexible and well-prepared for the unique threats we face today". "Like Russia, China is pursuing entirely new nuclear capabilities tailored to achieve particular national security objectives while also modernizing its conventional military, challenging traditional USA military superiority in the Western Pacific". It also criticized the practice of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "joint nuclear missions" that allow non-nuclear weapon member states of the Alliance to take part in planning and training in the use of nuclear weapons.

John Blaxland, Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies and director of ANU's Southeast Asia Institute, said the mistake was embarrassing but wasn't worth reading too much into.

So, President Obama said we want to pursue a world without nuclear weapons, we want to reduce the role of nuclear weapons.

In the long term, the U.S. military also plans to develop a new nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile. "I'm sure they won't respond well", Soofer said Thursday.


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