US Plans to Develop More Nuclear Weapons

Policymakers worry that regular, large-yield weapons are essentially too big to ever be detonated, as their use would likely result in large-scale retaliation from an adversary and wipe too much of humanity off the map.

This is something some in the U.S. military brass have been pushing for years, with an eye toward the acquisition of "low-yield" nuclear weapons that officials could readily use in situations where they would now be unthinkable.

The other is a nuclear-tipped cruise missile, a revival of a system that had been dropped from the arsenal in 2010. The Journal reports that a full nuclear modernization could eat up about 6.4 percent of the Defense Department's budget, more than double what it now spends on nuclear weapons, and that "if the Pentagon doesn't secure the spending increases it anticipates, this could heighten the competition between nuclear and nonnuclear programs for budgetary resources".

The HuffPost last week was the first to publish a draft of the document.

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In 2016, Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva noted at an event in Washington that the USA military needs smaller nuclear weapons that wouldn't cause massive casualties, reported Defense One.

"Expanding flexible U.S. nuclear options now, to include low-yield options, is important for the preservation of credible deterrence against regional aggression", the document states.

Trump's attitude is a radical departure from President Obama, who signed a major denuclearization treaty with Russian Federation in 2010, and spoke of a world free of nuclear weapons altogether.

Congressman Mac Thornberry, who chairs the powerful House Armed Services Committee that provides civilian oversight to the Pentagon, said the administration of President Donald Trump is closely studying its options. The final version is expected on February 2nd.

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But the draft is the first time the U.S. Defense Department acknowledged the capability of the underwater nuclear drone, according to Defense News. But the review expands the definition of what constitutes an extreme circumstance to "include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks", according to the Times.

The US military is conducting "very serious" training for a possible conflict with North Korea, a top Republican lawmaker said on Tuesday, though he said he hoped such preparations would never be put to use.

Blechman said this goes against the spirit of the 1968 global non-proliferation treaty aimed at curtailing the spread of nuclear weapons.

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