For the first time since 1945, America is considering the use of first-strike nuclear weapons.
When the Obama administration did its own reset of the strategy in 2010, it argued the world could be made safer if the USA reduced the role of nuclear weapons in defense strategy.
The new US posture focuses heavily on what the administration sees as an overdue modernization of the nuclear arsenal, the laboratories and plants that support the arsenal, and the far-flung communications and early warning systems that enable the Pentagon to command and control the weapons. "I'm afraid this Nuclear Posture Review will be used by other countries to ignore calls for nuclear arms reduction, and in doing so leave the world less safe".
"Our strategy will ensure Russian Federation understands that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is unacceptable", the document states.
China's Defense Ministry said its military activities were defensive and its nuclear arsenal was the "minimum level" required for its security.
"The Americans are shamelessly threatening Russian Federation with a new atomic weapon", Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reportedly said in a televised speech.
Nuclear weapons have been a fear and deterrent in full escalations occurring up to this point as the result of just one can cause severe damage of buildings, but nuclear fallout could affect both sides, not to mention the retaliation from the other side would be problematic. 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 global and regional security".
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The United States would modify "a small number" of existing long-range ballistic missiles carried by Trident strategic submarines to fit them with smaller-yield nuclear warheads.
The policy reaffirms a full modernization of the US nuclear force approved by President Barack Obama, which replaces the military's nuclear bombers, submarines and ICBMs at an estimated cost of $1.2 trillion over 30 years. He stopped by a nuclear submarine base in Washington state. For example, the policy calls for "the rapid development" of a cruise missile that would be fired from submarines, then become airborne before reaching its target.
"This is a very mainstream nuclear policy", Miller added.
"Some in that room may think that we should just put our heads in the sand and ignore the threats that are being faced out there and just let Russian Federation and China and North Korea continue to do what they are doing", Wood told reporters outside the conference hall.
"There are no acceptable nuclear weapons to use", Fihn, whose organization won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, said.
The State Department said on Monday the United States has lived up to the deal and it has "no reason to believe" Russian Federation has done otherwise. Like Obama, Trump would consider using nuclear weapons only in "extreme circumstances", while maintaining a degree of ambiguity about what that means.
All of the new or repurposed warheads would come from the National Nuclear Security Administration, an arm of the Energy Department that officials say is already stretched thin.