Author Topic: Trump to develop new NUKES and 'loosen constraints' for their use to deter N.kor  (Read 107 times)

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Offline JA DU ( transracial)

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DONALD Trump is planning to develop a new nuclear warhead for Trident submarines and to loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons to “deter” Russia, China and North Korea, according to a former official.

Special assistant to Barack Obama on arms control and nonproliferation, Jon Wolfsthal, said a review prepared by the Pentagon recommends a new version of the Trident D5 submarine-launched missile to “deter” Russia, China and North Korea from using tactical warheads in a conflict.

The new policy is much more aggressive than that of Obama, who sought to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US defence.
Mr Wolfsthal said: “What I’ve been told by the people who wrote the thing was what they were trying to do was to send a clear deterrent message to Russians, the North Koreans and the Chinese.

“And there is pretty good, moderate but strong language that makes clear that any attempt by Russia or North Korea to use nuclear weapons would result in a massive consequence for them and I think that’s actually moderate, centrist and probably very much needed.

“Where they go overboard, is where they say that in order to make that credible the US needs to develop two new types of nuclear weapons.

“We spend $5billion per submarine to make it invisible and we put a lot of warheads on each submarine and so what they want to do is take one missile, put one small warhead on it and launch it first, so the submarine is vulnerable to Russian attack.

The NPR also expands the circumstances in which the US could use nuclear weapons to include a response to a non-nuclear attack that caused mass casualties or was aimed at critical infrastructure or nuclear command and control sites.

Mr Wolfsthal said the final draft states the US will start introducing a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile as a counter to a new ground-launched cruise missile, that the US has accused Russia of developing - which is in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

The review, which could be Trump’s signature nuclear weapons initiative in response to a growing North Korean nuclear threat, could lead to more than $1 trillion in spending over nearly 30 years.
There have been three such reviews since the end of the Cold War with the most recent being 2010 under Barack Obama.

“That strikes me as being unsustainable from a naval strategy point of view.”

The Nuclear Policy Review (NPR) is the first in eight years and is expected to be published after Trump’s State of Union speech at the end of January.

One defence official said: "This Nuclear Posture Review is unique in that it is the first one to occur after a notable negative evolution in the security environment.
"Threats have become more stark and volatile since 2010, and a fresh look at nuclear posture is essential to countering these threats."
Trump ordered the review in a Presidential memorandum last January one week after he took office.

The memo called for a Pentagon review to “ensure that the United States nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready, and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies”.

There is also a review of ballistic missile defences underway to identify improvements.
One initiative could be the development of a missile defence system that could detect, track and destroy multiple incoming enemy warheads with the launch of a single US missile.

But, arms control advocates have voiced alarm at the proposal to make smaller more “usable” nuclear weapons.
They argue it makes a nuclear war more likely, especially due to what they see as Trump’s volatility.

Director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists, Hans Kristensen, said the plans are incoherent.
He said: “It assumes that the intelligence community has determined that one or several adversaries out there are gambling that the US would be self-deterred from using a ballistic missile warhead because they have larger yield.

“That's just not the case. We have never, ever heard anyone say that is so.

“I don’t think any adversary – certainly not Russia, – would gamble that if they did something with nukes that were low yield that we would not respond. That’s completely ludicrous.

“I think this is about having some warhead work at the laboratories and exploring options. I don’t see this as a real mission.”

Head of the Arms Control Association Daryl Kimball said the development of new weapons in the US nuclear arsenal was “dangerous Cold War thinking”.
He added: “The United States already possesses a diverse array of nuclear capabilities, and there is no evidence that more usable weapons will strengthen deterrence of adversaries or compel them to make different choices about their arsenals.

“The use of even a small number of these weapons would be catastrophic. Threatening nuclear attack to counter new kinds of ‘asymmetric’ threats is unnecessary, would increase the risk of nuclear weapons use, and would make it easier for other countries to justify excessive roles for nuclear weapons in their policies.”

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