Washington DC –
The United States (US) military wants to increase its nuclear arsenal by watching for Russia's nuclear power. The US also intends to develop new low-power nuclear weapons in order to deal with a smaller nuclear threat.
The report titled ' Nuclear Posture Review ' released by the US Department of Defense or Pentagon on Friday (2/2) reveals the direction of defense policy under President Donald Trump by following up Russian military actions in recent years . For the first time since 2010, the Pentagon has expressed its views on nuclear threats in recent decades.
"Capacity-building strategies aim to make the use of nuclear weapons less likely," Trump said in a written statement commenting on the Pentagon's report, as reported by AFP Saturday (3/2/2018).
"And, more importantly, it reaffirms our commitment to arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, maintains a moratorium on nuclear testing and is determined to increase efforts to prevent, detect and respond to nuclear terrorism" he added.
This new US nuclear policy shows a shift from the US vision under the previous US President, Barack Obama, who in his famous 2009 speech in Prague called for the destruction of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.
The Pentagon report shows US concerns over North Korea's nuclear, Iran and China nuclear developments, but most concerns are directed at Russia. "This is a response to the expansion of Russia's capabilities as well as their strategy and doctrinal form," said US Defense Secretary James Mattis at the beginning of the 75-page report . "This development, coupled with the annexation of the Crimea by Russia and the nuclear threat against our allies, marks Moscow's return to the Great Power competition," he added.
The Pentagon is worried that Russia will assume US high-explosive nuclear weapons are too large to be blown up, because its use will obviously trigger large-scale retaliation and annihilate humans from the Earth. Or in other words, the United States developed a low-power nuclear weapon to ward off Russia using its nuclear weapons.
The Pentagon report mentions that by possessing low-power nuclear weapons, the United States can also counter the 'misperceptions' of the enemy that the US is incapable responding to other countries using low-explosive nuclear bombs. Nuclear weapons with low explosive power, though devastating, have a power of less than 20 kilotons. The explosive force is as strong as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
The Pentagon reports that the US will modify a small number of its submarine ballistic missiles with a low-power warhead option. The modification program will take place in 5 years with a budget of US $ 50 million.
(nvc / fjp)