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Iran Press TV

Trump signals US may expand use of nuclear weapons

Iran Press TV

Tue Dec 19, 2017 05:09PM

The administration of US President Donald Trump has signaled that it could expand the use of nuclear weapons as part of a new security strategy.

The White House released the National Security Strategy (NSS) on Monday, calling nuclear weapons "the foundation of our strategy to preserve peace and stability by deterring aggression against the United States."

The policy document criticizes previous US administrations for minimizing the role of nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War as a key to American defense.

The new strategy suggests downgrading nuclear weapons had not prevented nuclear-armed adversaries expanding their arsenals and delivery systems.

The wider role for nuclear weapons is one of several ways in which Trump's approach has differed from his predecessor, Barack Obama.

"While nuclear deterrence strategies cannot prevent all conflict, they are essential to prevent nuclear attack, non-nuclear strategic attacks, and large-scale conventional aggression," the document said.

Trump's strategy contains more than a few hints of a return to a Cold War view of the world and is likely a strong predictor of future action.

"This is a very strong hint. It matches a lot of rumors we have heard over the past few weeks," said Hans Kristensen, the director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists.

"It's a taste of what will come in the Nuclear Posture Review. What is interesting is the broadening of the nuclear weapons mission against non-nuclear attacks. The question is – are we creating more pathways to potential nuclear war?"

Outlining a national security strategy is mandated by Congress. It outlines the major national security concerns of the United States and how the administration plans to deal with them.

After the 68-page strategy report was released, Trump appeared at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington for a speech laying out his so-called "America First" vision.

Much of Trump's speech launching the strategy was devoted to denigrating his predecessors, who he portrayed as having let their country down.

"They lost sight of America's destiny. And they lost their belief in American greatness. As a result, our citizens lost something as well. The people lost confidence in their government and, eventually, even lost confidence in their future," the president said.

The report also criticized Russia and China as "revisionist powers" determined to threaten US interests.

Moscow and Beijing are seeking to challenge "American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity," it said.

The Kremlin denounced the "imperialist character" of the American report, accusing Washington of clinging to a "unipolar world."

"The imperialist character of this document is obvious, as is the refusal to renounce a unipolar world, an insistent refusal," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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