California Senator Dianne Feinstein Says Trump's Nuclear Posture Review is Deeply Troubling

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks at Naval Base Kitsap in Kitsap County in August

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks at Naval Base Kitsap in Kitsap County in August

"Over the past decade, despite United States efforts to reduce the roles and numbers of nuclear weapons, other nuclear nations grew their stockpiles, increased the prominence of nuclear weapons in their security strategies, and-in some cases-pursued the development of new nuclear capabilities to threaten other nations", Trump said in a statement.

Washington also "arbitrarily converted" some underground missile launch sites into training facilities, which wasn't spelled out in the treaty, the ministry said.

The US military has put countering China and Russian Federation at the centre of a new national defence strategy unveiled earlier this month, shifting priorities away from fighting Islamist militants. Although Barack Obama began the U.S. upgrade, President Trump is vastly expanding it, but within the rules of a new nuclear treaty between Russian Federation and America that came into force today.

But those twin objectives appear distant, and President Donald Trump has little room for maneuver with Moscow as he grapples with allegations his campaign may have colluded with the Kremlin to get him elected.

The hawkish paper, consistent with the previously released National Security Strategy and the National Defense Strategy, painted a bleak picture for USA security, and called for more dominant role for nuclear weapons in its arsenal.

While the document underscored the administration's concerns about North Korea, Iran and China, the focus fell largely on Russian Federation.

China also called on Washington to honor its commitments to reduce its own nuclear arsenal.

"Progress in arms control is not an end in and of itself", page 73 of the 74-page strategy says, adding that new advances in arms control are "difficult to envision".

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The 2018 edition of the Nuclear Posture Review "reflects greater reliance on nukes" violating global agreements on non-proliferation, he went on, noting that "no wonder the Doomsday Clock is at its most risky since 1953." .

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned of the dangers for Europe of a "renewed nuclear arms race".

Moreover, said Burroughs, the NPR expands the role of nuclear weapons by identifying new circumstances in which they could be used, namely in response to "strategic non-nuclear attacks" including cyberattacks. Priority should be given to hindering North Korea's nuclear development and reducing Russian and Chinese threats.

The US defence department in the US has had to correct some rather glaring errors in its Nuclear Posture Review as countries were labelled incorrectly. In a report issued last Friday, the U.S. made the rather unexpected observation that China should not mistakenly conclude that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is acceptable.

The White House last week dropped its nominee to be ambassador to South Korea, Victor Cha, after he publicly criticized a potential preemptive strike on North Korea.

Trailing behind them are the world's other four nuclear powers: Pakistan (140 nuclear warheads), India (130), Israel (80) and North Korea (15).

The senators noted that in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week, expert witnesses found that "such a "bloody nose" strategy carried extreme risks".

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