Published: Sun, February 04, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Moscow denounces "anti-Russian" US nuclear policy

Moscow denounces

"Since the end of the Cold War the United States has worked to reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons, but the world looks different since the last NPR - Nuclear Posture Review- in 2010".

"The Trump administration's call for new nuclear weapons is a major shift in USA policy", Mount said when asked the proposal for low-yield nuclear weapons.

The U.S. says it needs smaller nuclear weapons as a deterrence against other so-called "Great Powers".

"Our strategy will ensure Russian Federation understands that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is unacceptable", the document states.

Greg Weaver, the Pentagon's deputy director of strategic capabilities, cautioned that the U.S.is not in an arms race with Russia, but argued instead that the Trump administration is "responding to Russian initiative".

He noted the NPR says the nation would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in "extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies and partners".

In reality, the review is a balanced document carefully weighing the impact of risky global trends like a resurgent Russian Federation and an aggressive China on US nuclear posture.

However, Rood also stressed that the USA nuclear policy does not call for the automatic use of nuclear weapons in certain circumstances.

The U.S. has begun to replace aging components in each part of the triad: the Ohio-class nuclear submarine is being replaced by Columbia-class nuclear submarines, land-based Minuteman III missiles will start being replaced in 2029 and a new B-21 Raider bomber jet will start replacing old bombers in the mid-2020s, according to the review.

Known in English as the "Status-6" system, the program is described by U.S. officials as essentially a drone-type device fired underwater that can potentially travel thousands of miles and strike United States coastal targets such as military bases or cities.

The US wants to build new nuclear arsenal because Russian Federation now perceives its nuclear capabilities as inadequate, officials told Reuters.

The recently updated policy on nuclear weapons calls for fitting existing submarine-launched ballistic missiles with low-yield warheads to deter Russian Federation, which believes that if it uses tactical nuclear weapons as part of a first strike, it can de-escalate a crisis on its terms because the United States would not want to counter with a full nuclear strike. Rather, it has held on to about 2,000 such systems and modernised some of them (by contrast, America keeps just a few hundred low-yield gravity bombs in Europe).

Under these definitions, the desire to pursue two new USA nuclear systems-low-yield penetrating SLBMs and nuclear-tipped SLCMs-could further undermine strategic and crisis stability.

It will also seek arms control agreements that enhance security, and are verifiable and enforceable.

He said it was also long-standing USA policy to "maintain some ambiguity" on when the US would use nuclear weapons.

"For effective deterrence, the USA will hold fully accountable any state, terrorist group, or other non-state actor that supports or enables terrorist efforts to obtain or employ nuclear devices", the report said.

But Pavel Podvig, an arms control expert, told NPR the Status-6 system might not even exist.

What is the United States doing to its nuclear weapons?

"President Trump is embarking on a reckless path - one that will reduce US security both now and in the longer term", she said. Furthermore, the United States has had low-yield nuclear weapons in its inventory for decades, he said.

Like this: