U.S. seeks new nukes, leaked draft shows

The Buffalo News - - WASHINGTON NEWS - – Wash­ing­ton Post

WASH­ING­TON – A leaked draft of the Pen­tagon’s forth­com­ing nu­clear weapons re­view shows that se­nior de­fense of­fi­cials are keen to not only mod­ern­ize the ag­ing U.S. arse­nal, but add new ways to wage nu­clear war as Rus­sia, China and other ad­ver­saries bol­ster their own ar­se­nals.

Among the new weapons pro­posed are so-called “lowyield nukes” that could be mounted to ex­ist­ing Tri­dent bal­lis­tic mis­siles launched from sub­marines.

De­spite the nick­name, the war­heads would still likely pack a punch larger than the ex­plo­sions that lev­eled the Ja­panese cities of Hiroshima and Na­gasaki dur­ing World War II.

The draft, first pub­lished by the Huff­in­g­ton Post, states that the smaller nu­clear weapons are nec­es­sary due to the “de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the strate­gic en­vi­ron­ment,” a nod to­ward ex­ist­ing ten­sions with Rus­sia, in par­tic­u­lar.

The Pen­tagon’s the­sis: If an ad­ver­sary has an arse­nal of nu­clear weapons that are not con­trolled by ex­ist­ing treaties, the United States should have one to match and re­tal­i­ate if nec­es­sary.

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