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Pentagon Sees Broader Role for Nuclear Weapons

  • More ‘lower-yield’ weapons called for to counter threats
  • Critics say strategy takes nuclear weapons onto battlefields
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How the U.S. Would Launch a Nuclear Strike
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Escalating global threats from Russia to North Korea mean the U.S. military’s regional commanders must update war plans to incorporate the use -- in the most dire circumstances -- of nuclear weapons, according to the Pentagon’s latest Nuclear Posture Review.

The review responds to what President Donald Trump and military leaders say is an increasingly complex threat environment, and it acknowledges that prospects for further nuclear arms reductions in the near future are “extremely challenging.” Military leaders see China and Russia in particular as bolstering their nuclear forces, incorporating them into their strategic plans and taking more aggressive actions in outer space and cyber space.