False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump's Nuclear Risk

  • False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump's Nuclear Risk

False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump's Nuclear Risk

The Donald Trump administration is planning to develop a smaller low-yield nuclear weapon that can be mounted on US Trident missiles, a formal official who was privy to the draft of a policy review, revealed.

While the D5 missiles-which each cost approximately $66 million-carry warheads with over 30 times the destructive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, the new weapons would include only the primary fission section of existing thermonuclear warheads, with a lower explosive yield. This logic is insane.

In September 2017, Rob Soofer, deputy assistant defense secretary for nuclear and missile defense policy, said the review is looking at how nuclear weapons can "deter new non-nuclear attacks that could have strategic effects: catastrophic mass casualties, cyberattacks against US infrastructure, chemical or biological attacks, or attacks against USA critical space capabilities".

The introduction to the report confirms that the USA seeks the "ultimate global elimination of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons", something it has been bound to do since the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1970. Investing huge sums this way is also unlikely to protect us from tomorrow's threats.

"There's no military requirement for these new nuclear capabilities, which would increase, not decrease, risk of miscalculation". Russian Federation is unquestionably a growing problem that needs to be confronted, but that's a cynical rationale for a president who so far has refused to acknowledge the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 election or its threat more generally to Western democracies.

This could "hijack decision-making with potentially devastating consequences", it found. 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. "W$3 e have 4,000 nuclear weapons in our active stockpile, which is more than enough to destroy the world many times over". Advocates argue it will make a nuclear war more likely. In other words, Mr. Trump's approach makes no sense.

Moreover, once nuclear weapons are used in a conflict against another nuclear-armed adversary, even in small numbers or in a regional conflict, there is no guarantee against a cycle of escalation leading to all-out global nuclear war.

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 United States has weapons in its arsenal that it would hypothetically be willing to use".

President Barack Obama made a down payment on a saner policy by narrowing to "extreme circumstances" the conditions under which nuclear weapons would be used and ruling out their use against most non-nuclear countries.

The Obama administration's 2010 nuclear strategy asserted that the "fundamental purpose" of the US nuclear arsenal is to deter or respond to a nuclear attack and the United States will only consider the use of nuclear weapons in "extreme circumstances".

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His repeated references to his nuclear capability while lobbing insults at North Korea's Kim Jong Un are believed to have spurred the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.