US Seeks New Nukes for New Kinds of Nuclear War

Donald Trump speaks to press

He may be hot-headed but if the country is actually threatened we made need that. | Jim Watson AFP Getty Images

The Pentagon wrote the draft document, which calls the strategic situation facing the USA bleak due to advances in nuclear technology by Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. But he warned that the US would pull out in a few months unless "terrible flaws" in the deal are fixed.

"In addition to modernising "legacy" Soviet nuclear systems, Russian Federation is developing and deploying new nuclear warheads and launchers".

The report contends that developing the weapons will also help the US deter North Korea's nuclear aggression, which has ramped up at a far faster rate than experts had predicted. This policy would see a focus on acquiring new types of nuclear weapons, with an eye toward more usable ones for limited nuclear wars. The document doesn't just lay out budgetary and resource requirements for maintaining the Department of Defense's 6,800-warhead nuclear arsenal and the systems that comprise its beloved nuclear triad; it lays out the guidelines and circumstances under which that arsenal can be brought to bear on the world at large.

He argues that fewer, more powerful nuclear weapons would counter the "misplaced confidence" of United States enemies in the belief that Washington will never use its conventional, too powerful and destructive nuclear weapons.

Critics of the plan contend it has contradictory goals by aiming to increase nuclear first-use options for deterrence while also endorsing ambiguity as a nuclear strategy.

The suggestion marks a dramatic expansion of what the US believes warrants a first use of nuclear weapons, the Times noted. "That's not really the problem", Wolfsthal told Newsweek.

These experts warn that such smaller arms could be more tempting to use because they can blur the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons.

"The pro-nuclear ideologues say that for a real deterrent, the United States must align itself with the enemy's arsenal, with the weapon, with the power", Blechman said. The NPR "definitely makes the nuclear risks greater", Wofsthal contended.

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