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

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It enhances deterrence of strategic attacks against our nation, and our allies and partners, that may not come in the form of nuclear weapons.

Though Defense Secretary James Mattis denied that the new weapons would lower the nuclear threshold, the Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review says the exact opposite, revealing that they view such weapons as useful in retaliation against non-nuclear attacks or other "extreme circumstances".

In his own statement, Trump said the updated strategy develops capabilities so that use of a nuclear weapon is less likely.

With respect to U.S. nuclear weapons assuring allies, the 2018 NPR assumes that it is U.S. extended nuclear deterrence (not plain old conventional weapons) that gives allies and partners their confidence.

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.

According to the review, "expanding flexible USA nuclear options now, to include low-yield options, is important for the preservation of credible deterrence against regional aggression".

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Leonid Ivashov, former head of the Russian Defense Ministry's worldwide cooperation department, told Interfax that, in light of the US document, Russia should initiate consultations with China on jointly monitoring nuclear forces and studying "ways of responding".

Based on a leaked draft of the nuclear posture, 16 Democratic U.S. senators, including senators from Washington, California and IL, wrote to President Donald Trump on Monday that his nuclear policy would "increase the risk of a nuclear arms race and raise the real possibility of a nuclear conflict".

2. A world without nuclear weapons is not safer.

The U.S. Nuclear Posture Review outlines the Pentagon's nuclear goals under Trump and is the first time since 2010 that the administration has spelled out how it foresees nuclear threats in the coming decades.

In its Nuclear Posture Review, the Pentagon revealed that much of its efforts aimed at nuclear deterrence are focused on Russian Federation.

A unsafe disconnect is emerging between the horrific impacts of even the limited use of nuclear weapons and leaders and policymakers who seem intent on threatening nuclear use in an ever-expanding range of scenarios.

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"The concept is a horror of the Cold War", said Adam Mount, a senior fellow and director of the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists, adding it was created due to "overblown Russian worries that US missile defenses will make their missile forces obsolete".

Fried said that both Russian Federation and China were given advance copies of the NPR to make clear US policy and avoid the "risk of miscalculation".

"This strategy gives him a massive rebuild of the current Cold War arsenal, complete with new missions and new weapons, to include responding to a cyberattack with a nuclear bomb", Cirincione said.

According to the report, the USA will continue its efforts to minimise the number of nuclear weapons states, including by maintaining credible US-extended nuclear deterrence and assurance; and deny terrorist organisations access to nuclear weapons and materials.

The report said the United States would try and prevent terrorists from obtaining nuclear weapons or technology and respond to nuclear incidents by locating and disabling a nuclear device or managing the consequences of a nuclear detonation.

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.

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