US unveils new nuclear weapons strategy
The US will adopt a more aggressive nuclear posture, contemplating strikes in response to non-nuclear threats and deploying new “low-yield” devices after a government review that detractors say will raise the risk of nuclear war, Financial Times reported.
Although the nuclear posture review states that the US would only consider such an attack in the case of “extreme circumstances”, these could include “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks”.
This raises the prospect that nuclear weapons could be deployed in response to a severe cyber attack, a large terror attack such as those staged on September 11 2001, or another strategic threat.
“Our goal is to convince adversaries they have nothing to gain and everything to lose from the use of nuclear weapons,” Jim Mattis, defence secretary, said in the review document, arguing that more usable tactical nuclear weapons would deter adversaries and raise the threshold for enemy attack.