Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Trump nuclear doctrine to take more aggressive stance toward Russian Federation

US ready to use nukes in case of conventional attack- Nuclear Posture Review II D5 missile is launched from the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Maryland
Nellie Chapman | 03 February, 2018, 05:07

Gronlund added that her biggest concern with the new policy is "an emphasis on integrating nuclear and conventional forces to facilitate nuclear warfighting". If you were looking for evidence that Trump and nukes are truly a risky combination, look no further.

The Nuclear Posture Review is a step in the right direction wholly consistent with a bipartisan consensus on USA nuclear weapons policy post Russia's 2014 invasion of Ukraine.

"The US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation require a wider range of credible low-yield nuclear options to do a very specific thing: to convince the Russian leadership that if they initiate limited nuclear use, in a war with the alliance, our response will deny them the objective they seek and impose costs that far outweigh those benefits they can achieve", he added.

The review called for continuing the B-83 bomb, the largest nuclear weapon in the USA stockpile, until a replacement is found, reversing plans to retire it. It expands the circumstances in which the United States would consider employing nuclear weapons to include the ambiguously termed "non-nuclear strategic attacks" against infrastructure.

President Trump is now taking us in the opposite, risky direction. "The NPR appropriately addresses the nature of these threats and ensures that the safety and security of the American people remain our top priority", she said.

"Consequently, the United States reaffirms that North Korea's illicit nuclear program must be completely, verifiably and irreversibly eliminated, resulting in a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons", it says. That one stopped short of declaring that the sole objective of nuclear weapons would be to deter nuclear attack.

It says Russian Federation must be persuaded it would face "unacceptably dire costs" if it were to threaten even limited nuclear attack in Europe. Millions would die, the world economy would collapse and civilization as we know it could come to a screeching halt.

"This review rests on a bedrock truth: nuclear weapons have and will continue to play a critical role in deterring nuclear attack and in preventing large-scale conventional warfare", he said. But others might. Thus we should be working toward a global norm against nuclear use, not lowering the nuclear threshold.

Even before the final NPR was released, the Pentagon was having trouble defending its policy.

According to the document, the USA nuclear forces have suffered as a result of "consistent underfunding" and it argues that the nation must make "significant and sustained investments" over the coming decade to deter rival superpowers. Who decides what constitutes strategic consequences?

The Trump administration concluded that the US should largely follow its predecessor's blueprint for modernizing the nuclear arsenal, including new bomber aircraft, submarines and land-based missiles. The U.S. has a few hundred active low-yield weapons deployed in Europe.

Our rivals may believe that the US would be self-deterred to respond in a conflict in which they would use low yield nuclear weapons first.

Former Secretary of State George Shultz disagrees.

"That's the strongest reason for not getting into a situation where someone needs to think about using nuclear weapons", Saunders said.

Shultz continued, "Your mind goes to the idea that, yes, nuclear weapons become usable".

"Because of the risky world we live in and our unwavering commitment to our allies, the 2018 NPR focuses on strengthening extended deterrence", he said.

Or, as one retired senior Army officer told The American Conservative, low-yield nukes provide Trump with "a kind of gateway drug for nuclear war".

The inclusion of the last two roles of nuclear weapons-achieving U.S. objectives should deterrence fail (aka warfighting) and hedging against an uncertain future (aka insurance policy)-may not be objectionable in principle, but their descriptions again leave the reader wondering about how coherent this policy actually is. That is why the Trump administration must modernize the US nuclear arsenal and warheads.

Sure, you could build a bomb shelter and hide, but that does not lower the risk of war, and it is highly unlikely to save you.

He said that nuclear terrorism is still a major threat in the 21st century and countries need to work to mitigate it.