Trump Revises Nuclear Posture Toward Russia: Conventional Attack Could Prompt Nuclear Response

Saturday, February 3, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Fri, 02/02/2018

The Trump administration will continue much of the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons policy – with the addition of a much more aggressive stance towards Russia, according to the results of a year-long, 74-page “Nuclear Posture Review” (NPR) conducted by the Department of Defense.

The administration’s view is that Russian policies and actions are fraught with potential for miscalculation leading to an uncontrolled escalation of conflict in Europe. It specifically points to a Russian doctrine known as “escalate to de-escalate,” in which Moscow would use or threaten to use smaller-yield nuclear weapons in a limited, conventional conflict in Europe in the belief that doing so would compel the U.S. and NATO to back down, according to AP.

“Recent Russian statements on this evolving nuclear weapons doctrine appear to lower the threshold for Moscow’s first-use of nuclear weapons,” reads the report. Of note, “Russia” is mentioned 14 times in the document.

The United States and Russia have in the past maintained strategic dialogues to manage nuclear competition and nuclear risks. Given Russian actions, including its occupation of Crimea, this constructive engagement has declined substantially. We look forward to conditions that would once again allow for transparent and constructive engagement with Russia.

…this review candidly addresses the challenges posed by Russian, Chinese, and other states strategic policies, programs, and capabilities, particularly nuclear.

In order to address Moscow’s more liberal policy on the use of nukes, the Trump administration has two solutions; 1) modify a “small number” of existing ICBMs carried by Trident strategic submarines with smaller-yield nuclear warheads, and 2) “in the longer term,” develop a nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile – a weapon that existed during the Cold War but was retired in 2011 by the Obama administration.

The Rest…HERE

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