Trump's new nuclear strategy

The US wants to expand its military arsenal with new low-yield atomic weapons, according to a Pentagon policy statement released on Friday. The strategy would increase the risk of an escalation in the North Korea conflict, some commentators fear. Others argue that it is a logical reaction to Russian foreign policy and would actually reduce the chances of nuclear war.

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Le Temps (CH) /

US mixing an explosive coctail

Trump's new nuclear strategy is extremely dangerous, Le Temps warns:

“The Trump Administration's turnaround is taking place at a critical juncture. The nuclear powers are in the process of turning their backs on the disarmament obligations they agreed to in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. ... It would be wrong to think that such a nuclear race could serve the purposes of deterrence. The context of bi-polar strategic stability prevalent in the Cold War has given way to a profound, multipolar instability. Putting the treaties on the back-burner or even cancelling them as President Trump wants, in combination with a potential rise in the number of states in possession of the bomb, could indeed be an explosive cocktail.”

The Economist (GB) /

New weapons make nuclear war less likely

The plan to secure peace with new mini nuclear weapons makes perfect sense, The Economist counters:

“For nuclear deterrence to work, the possibility of a nuclear response must be credible. Paradoxically, introducing supposedly more usable nuclear weapons to the range of options thus makes nuclear war less rather than more likely. ... It would be wrong to associate the case the nuclear posture review soberly makes with Donald Trump's bluster about wanting ever more powerful nuclear forces and the size of his nuclear button. The commander-in-chief's impulsive personality and the scope for miscalculation over North Korea's missile programme is far more worrying than a considered attempt to plug a gap in America's nuclear arsenal.”

Dennik N (SK) /

Trump adapting to Russia's strategy

Moscow shouldn't be very surprised by the new US doctrine, Dennik N points out:

“In many respects this new doctrine simply repeats an integral part of the official Russian military doctrine and development strategy. For many years now this doctrine has named the West, the US and Nato as the arch-enemy. ... Since 9/11 the US and its European allies have viewed terrorism as their arch-enemy and adapted their military strategies accordingly. Not Russia. It continues to prepare for a military conflict with the West, which it sees as weak, helpless and easy to blackmail. The new US doctrine is reacting to that stance and trying to persuade Moscow of the contrary.”