US President Donald Trump has sent his administration’s plan for the nation’s nuclear program to the country’s defense bodies and will soon unfetter the arsenal to include controversial miniaturized nuclear devices.
The new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a set of White House recommendations issued every eight years, reportedly includes a plan to remove constraints on the Department of Energy and modify the Trident D5 submarine-launched missile to include only part of the original warhead.
The purpose of this policy is to nominally deter Russia, which the US has accused of developing ground-launched cruise missiles that violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. Moscow has denied the charge, calling it "fake news."
Pentagon policy along NATO's eastern flank has been informed by this alleged violation, with the theory being that in the case of war between Russia and the US, Moscow would quickly deploy tactical nuclear weapons to even the odds, which would then make the US back down — or so the Pentagon claims.
Hans Kristensen, the director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists, slammed this justification, calling it "ludicrous."