Tac­ti­cal nukes

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

The cur­rent House ver­sion of the fis­cal 2009 De­fense Au­tho­riza­tion bill con­tains a pro­vi­sion that would re­quire the Pen­tagon to re­port an­nu­ally on the threat posed by tac­ti­cal nu­clear weapons.

The $601 bil­lion bill con­tains lan­guage stat­ing that nu­mer­ous “non­strate­gic” nu­clear weapons are de­ployed by var­i­ous coun­tries and “their preva­lence and porta­bil­ity make them at­trac­tive tar­gets for theft and for use by ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions.”

“The United States should iden­tify, track, and mon­i­tor th­ese weapons as a mat­ter of na­tional se­cu­rity,” the bill states, not­ing that a re­port should as­sess the r isks of th­ese arms be­ing ob­tained by rogue states, ter­ror­ists and non-state en­ti­ties.

The mea­sure ap­pears aimed at coun­ter­ing tac­ti­cal nu­clear arms, in­clud­ing so-called “suit­case” nu­clear weapons that ac­tu­ally are steamer trunk-sized bombs, de­vel­oped dur­ing the Cold War by both the United States and Soviet Union. Ac­cord­ing to Rus­sian of­fi­cials in the 1990s, not all of Moscow’s por­ta­ble nu­clear weapons have been ac­counted for since the 1991 col­lapse of the Soviet Union.

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