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

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The review requires an "investment in a credible nuclear deterrent with diverse capabilities", chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said one day before its publication.

The US Department of Defence's latest Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) argues that Washington must create a more effective nuclear deterrent, with Russian Federation and other nations holding the "misconception" that the US would not use its large-scale strategic nuclear weapons in response to nuclear aggression from other countries.

"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.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement today it was very disappointed by the content of the document, which, it said, has a confrontational feel and anti-Russian orientation.

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In the document, USA defence chiefs warned of "increasingly explicit nuclear threats from potential adversaries".

By expanding its own low-yield nuclear capability, the United States would deter Russian Federation from using nuclear weapons, USA officials argue. The U.S. has mostly gotten rid of these weapons and the Pentagon worries this could be viewed as an "exploitable gap" because the choice would be between a much-larger nuclear attack or a less-lethal attack with smaller weapons. Somewhere in the middle were tactical or battlefield nukes: relatively low-yield (around the explosive capacity of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki), shorter-range missiles, artillery shells or gravity bombs that might be used against superior Soviet conventional forces if they were over-running North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defences.

The review comes at a critical moment in the nation's history, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis wrote in the preface of the NPR, adding "America confronts an global security situation that is more complex and demanding than any since the end of the Cold War".

Pentagon officials said Friday that the United States is developing a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile to counter a similar Russian weapon.

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In addition, a new nuclear-armed cruise missile launched from naval vessels would be developed, a process likely to take years. The missile could have the less powerful option, but a decision has not been made, and will take up to a decade to develop, officials said. By evaluating the current threats to the United States and allies on a case-by-case basis, USA strategy communicates to ill-intentioned actors like North Korea or China that we are prepared to face them and ultimately makes the possibility of engagement less likely. The U.S. nuclear doctrine does not tabu repetition of anything similar, and this causes most concerns.

The United States' so-called nuclear triad - the military's ability to launch and defend nuclear attacks with land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and air-launched cruise missiles - will remain critical to its nuclear deterrence strategy. These low-yield weapons address the capabilities gap perceived by our adversaries.

"Moscow has repeatedly stated its intention to meet those limits on time, and we have no reason to believe that that won't be the case", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. The treaty bans testing and fielding missiles with ranges of 500-5,500km. Officials say the SLCM would provide reassurance to Japan and South Korea in the face of threats from North Korea and put pressure on Russian Federation to stop violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

"The US is not arms racing, we are responding to Russian initiative here", Weaver said.

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