Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Draft nuclear plan eyes deterrence

Draft nuclear plan eyes deterrence

The Trump administration has issued a draft of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review and plans to release the final version of the document in February, HuffPost reported Thursday.

The drone submarine is able to carry 100-megaton warheads, the largest such weapons available, according to Newsweek. "The United States must be capable of developing and deploying new capabilities, if necessary, to deter, assure, achieve USA objectives if deterrence fails, and hedge against uncertainty", the draft plan reportedly said.

Last month, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation warned that it had "serious concern" regarding a a Russian cruise missile system, which allegedly enables Moscow to launch a nuclear strike on Europe at short notice.

'Russia is also developing at least two new intercontinental range systems, a hypersonic glide vehicle and a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed undersea autonomous torpedo'.

The Pentagon report warns of Russia's determination to continue to boost its nuclear weapons reserve while the US had been scaling down.

Many critics disagree with these lines of thinking, but the proposals appear to have broad support within the Pentagon.

Development of the weapons is recommended in the Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review, which was commissioned by President Trump past year and is expected to be made public next month.

USA media earlier published an unclassified draft of the nuclear posture review, although the DoD has referred to that version of the document as "pre-decisional".

Some critics are already anxious that low-yield nuclear weapons could lower the threshold for use, making nuclear conflict more likely.

Trump's attitude is a radical departure from President Obama, who signed a major denuclearization treaty with Russian Federation in 2010, and spoke of a world free of nuclear weapons altogether. The Journal reports that a full nuclear modernization could eat up about 6.4 percent of the Defense Department's budget, more than double what it now spends on nuclear weapons, and that "if the Pentagon doesn't secure the spending increases it anticipates, this could heighten the competition between nuclear and nonnuclear programs for budgetary resources".

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