The 2018 NPR states that nuclear weapons can't prevent all conflicts but lists four things they will do: deter nuclear and non-nuclear attack; assure allies and partners; achieve U.S. objectives if deterrence fails; and hedge against "an uncertain future".
"The Trump administration's call for new nuclear weapons is a major shift in U.S. policy", Mount said when asked the proposal for low-yield nuclear weapons. In a written statement, Trump said US strategy is created to make use of nuclear weapons less likely. U.S. officials also argue that since the last NPR in 2010 Russian Federation has expanded and modernised its non-strategic nuclear weapons and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. It argues that potential US adversaries such as China, North Korea, and Russian Federation are rapidly improving their nuclear capabilities and gaining an edge over the United States.
The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) calls for developing smaller, low-yield nuclear weapons to deter Russian Federation.
"Expanding flexible US nuclear options now, to include low-yield options, is important for the preservation of credible deterrence against regional aggression", the report says.
"Russia considers the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to be the principal threats to its contemporary geopolitical ambitions", the report says.
US Deputy Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan said the NPR would work on upgrading the arsenal, while adhering to existing arms control agreements.
Russian Federation is developing a torpedo equipped with a nuclear warhead described as a "doomsday weapon" in a new Pentagon report.
The strategy would challenge the view that US nuclear weapons are too big to be used and therefore no longer an effective deterrent.
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The report drew blistering criticism from arms control groups for mentioning cyberattacks as an incident that might provoke a US nuclear strike.
The Department of Defense has put a primary focus on a multibillion-dollar effort to update its nuclear deterrence against Russian Federation, according to its recently released Nuclear Posture Review, .
She added the administration was blurring the line between nuclear and conventional war-fighting. "Like Russia, China is pursuing entirely new nuclear capabilities tailored to achieve particular national security objectives while also modernizing its conventional military, challenging traditional USA military superiority in the Western Pacific".
However, Mount described the move as a "major shift in US policy".
The report said the U.S. would try and prevent terrorists from obtaining nuclear weapons or technology and respond to nuclear incidents by locating and disabling a nuclear device or managing the consequences of a nuclear detonation. It also criticized the practice of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "joint nuclear missions" that allow non-nuclear weapon member states of the Alliance to take part in planning and training in the use of nuclear weapons.
Other nations have enhanced their stockpiles and capabilities, but previous US administrations "deferred much-needed modernization of our nuclear weapons, infrastructure, and delivery systems", Trump said.
Being more specific does not mean the threshold for nuclear usage is lowered.
The Pentagon will also bring back sea-based nuclear cruise missiles, which will take up to a decade to develop, officials said.