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Ex-Diplomat Explains Why US Nuclear Posture Likely to Fuel Arms Race

07 February 2018, 01:03 | Darnell Patrick

The New START treaty calls for US and Russia to exchange data on their arsenals

The New START treaty calls for US and Russia to exchange data on their arsenals

In contrast to the president's address, the report issued Friday, known as the Nuclear Posture Review, focuses intensely on Russian Federation.

When the Obama administration did its own reset of the strategy in 2010, it argued the world could be made safer if the US reduced the role of nuclear weapons in defense strategy.

"The United States already possesses a robust nuclear arsenal and unmatched conventional capabilities".

Placing China and Russian Federation among the central reasons for its strategic move, the US' policy outline had argued it is necessary to strengthen its nuclear arsenal in its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).

Gabriel acknowledged that Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine had led to a "dramatic loss of trust towards Russia" in Europe as well as Washington, and that "signs that Russian Federation is re-arming, not only conventionally but with nuclear weapons, are obvious".

On Iran, the review said the main goal was to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani on February 4 accused the United States of "shamelessly threatening Russian Federation with a new atomic weapon".

The strategy marks a resounding win for backers of the US nuclear enterprise and a setback for disarmament advocates. The Russian statement went on to call the document "an unscrupulous attempt to shift onto others one's own responsibility for the degrading situation in the field of worldwide and regional security".

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It particularly condemned the development of low-yield nuclear weapons, which Moscow said can significantly lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons and "lead to a nuclear-missile war even in low-intensity conflicts".

Despite his predecessor signing a treaty between the USA and Russian Federation pledging to keep their nuclear arsenals low, Trump's administration has unveiled new plans for low-yield nuclear weapons following his call to "modernize and rebuild or nuclear arsenal" in his State of the Union address.

Freeman, who served as assistant secretary of state for worldwide security affairs under President Bill Clinton, said the review appeared to prepare to release the USA armed forces from weapons constraints they had kept for more than 30 years. Most of that money would go to new generations of bombers and new submarines, and a rebuilding of the land-based nuclear missile force that still dots giant fields across the West.

Only one country has ever used nuclear weapons against another country.

Bringing a version of the missile back would be a response to Russia's alleged violation of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, the Pentagon said, adding that it might reconsider if Moscow returned to compliance and "corrects its other destabilizing behaviors". "The objective is to make clear it is not in others´ interest to use nuclear weapons". They'll just increase the potential for their use and for miscalculation.

"It reaffirms our commitment to arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, maintains the moratorium on nuclear testing, and commits to improving efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism".

The ministry added that the United States also "arbitrarily converted" some missile-launch facilities designated for training, a use it said wasn't envisaged by the treaty.



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