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Pentagon reveals new nuclear weapons strategy, reversing Obama-era policy

Pentagon reveals new nuclear weapons strategy, reversing Obama-era policy”

The Pentagon released a new nuclear arms policy Friday that calls for the introduction of two new types of weapons, effectively ending Obama-era efforts to reduce the size and scope of the US arsenal and minimize the role of nuclear weapons in defense planning.

The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) calls for developing smaller, low-yield nuclear weapons to deter Russian Federation.

Called the "Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System", the Russian torpedo is reported to be able to deliver a thermonuclear cobalt bomb of up to 100 megatons. The weapon could trigger a tsunami wave of radioactive water that would blanket a coastal city.

Some analysts have branded it a "doomsday weapon".

Russian Federation is developing a torpedo equipped with a nuclear warhead described as a "doomsday weapon" in a new Pentagon report.

"The SLC-M would reassure Japan and South Korea against the nuclear threat from South Korea", the "Post" said.

The proposals stem from concerns that Russian Federation may see current United States nuclear weapons as too big to be used. U.S. officials also argue that since the last NPR in 2010 Russian Federation has expanded and modernised its non-strategic nuclear weapons and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The new policy "calls for more usable nuclear weapons with low yields, and for their first use in response to cyber and conventional strikes on civilian infrastructure such as financial, transportation, energy and communications networks", said Bruce Blair, co-founder of the antinuclear weapons advocacy group Global Zero.

Though Mr Trump said that the strategy "reaffirms our commitment to arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, maintains the moratorium on nuclear testing, and commits to improving efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism", it effectively ends Obama-era efforts to reduce the size and scope of the United States arsenal and minimise the role of nuclear weapons in defense planning.

Low-yield nuclear weapons, while still devastating, have a strength of less than 20 kilotonnes. "Rather, by convincing adversaries that even limited use of nuclear weapons will be more costly than they can tolerate, it in fact raises that threshold".

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However, while deterrence calls for having appropriate responses to the full spectrum of nuclear attacks, no one knows if a nuclear war could actually be contained to low-yield weapons, he said.

"It is important that we not let a button-measuring contest devolve into a button-pushing contest", he said.

A leaked pre-decisional draft reaffirms the policy of threatening nuclear use to prevent cyberattacks, but goes even further - expanding the role of USA forward-deployed nuclear weapons in NATO's European defenses.

The report notes the weapon "for decades had contributed to the deterrence and the assurance of allies" and the USA will "immediately begin efforts to restore this capability". With three nuclearized member states - the United States, Britain and France - NATO has a robust nuclear deterrent capable of being employed anywhere in defense of NATO interests. He repeated that promise Tuesday during his State of the Union speech.

The U.S. has begun to replace aging components in each part of the triad: the Ohio-class nuclear submarine is being replaced by Columbia-class nuclear submarines, land-based Minuteman III missiles will start being replaced in 2029 and a new B-21 Raider bomber jet will start replacing old bombers in the mid-2020s, according to the review.

In 2016, the Pentagon had planned to spend about $100 billion from 2017 to 2022 to "sustain and modernize nuclear forces". If this continues, the risk that a nuclear weapon will be used for the first time in more than 70 years - deliberately or otherwise - will grow.

The review was publicly released on Friday.

"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".

What this NPR says is, we're going to increase the role of nuclear weapons.



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