President Trump is bringing back the nuclear arms race

07 February, 2018, 01:04 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Washington's new nuclear policy was'in violation of the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty. John Thys  AFP

"In my view, it will stimulate an effort by countries that feel threatened by the United States to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to USA soil", he said.

"I don't think the Russians would be willing to give up something to gain nothing from us", he said, suggesting the cruise missile is a bargaining chip. Such agreements can foster cooperation and confidence among nuclear weapons states and reduce the risk of miscalculation that could lead to war, it notes - while accusing Russian Federation of undermining those aims by violating numerous treaties. Previous administrations, both Republican and Democrat, have worked to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons, and this review breaks sharply from that bipartisan tradition. The U.S. bombers and submarines that carry nuclear warheads offer sufficient deterrence, he has said, and the ICBMs, which sit in fields ready to launch at any moment, could accidentally trigger nuclear war.

That probably will arise at a House hearing Tuesday featuring Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The strategy marks a resounding win for backers of the US nuclear enterprise and a setback for disarmament advocates.

Thomas Karako, a specialist on nuclear issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said many people - including Obama - enter government sympathetic to disarmament but moderate their ambitions when confronted with threat intelligence.

"Obama's theory was that we will lead the way in reducing our reliance on nuclear weapons and everyone else will do the same", said Franklin C Miller, a nuclear expert who served in the George W Bush administration and was an informal consultant to Pentagon officials who drafted the new policy. In a statement Monday, its Foreign Ministry called the review's assertions frightening, "utterly hypocritical" and unsafe.

"The same people who supposedly believe that using weapons of mass destruction is a crime against humanity. are talking about new weapons to threaten or use against rivals", he continued, according to Reuters.


"That is a proposal that is very clearly created to look like an arms control proposal, but to guarantee that it won't be accepted", Acton said. The limit on warheads - 1,500 deployable weapons - that goes into effect Monday expires in 2021, and the nuclear review shows no enthusiasm about its chances for renewal.

He broadly described the US strategy's approach to arm control as worrying, including its silence on whether the USA wants to exercise an option in the New START treaty to extend its terms for five years.

Russia's foreign ministry said on Saturday it was very disappointed by the content of the document, which, it said, has a confrontational feel and anti-Russian orientation. It said Russian Federation must be persuaded it would face "unacceptably dire costs" if it were to threaten even limited nuclear attack in Europe.

The New START treaty calls for inspections and for the world's two leading nuclear powers to exchange data on their arsenals to verify compliance.

The State Department insisted the U.S.is fully adhering to its commitments.

The "tailored strategy" for Russia was meant to "pose insurmountable difficulties to any Russian strategy of aggression against the United States, its allies, or partners and ensure the credible prospect of unacceptably dire costs to the Russian leadership if it were to choose aggression", the document said.

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