President Trump is bringing back the nuclear arms race

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Washington's new nuclear policy was'in violation of the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty. John Thys  AFP

US 'shamelessly threatening Russia with atomic weapon', says Iran's Rouhani

"Recent Russian statements on this evolving nuclear weapons doctrine appear to lower the threshold for Moscow's first-use of nuclear weapons", the review said. Although Barack Obama began the U.S. upgrade, President Trump is vastly expanding it, but within the rules of a new nuclear treaty between Russian Federation and America that came into force today.

According to SIPRI data, Russian Federation has 7,000 nuclear weapons while the United States follows closely with 6,800.

Unfortunately, he said, "we are not there yet, sadly".

The issue has been rediscovered by politicians in the wake of Trump's election. It specifically points to a Russian doctrine known as "escalate to de-escalate", in which Moscow would use or threaten to use smaller-yield nuclear weapons in a limited, conventional conflict in Europe in the belief that doing so would compel the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to back down.

It is the first time since 2010 that the USA military has enunciated how it foresees nuclear threats in the coming decades.

Tangen also pointed out that nuclear deterrents can "blow up the world many hundred times over with the existing stockpile". The Trump administration, for its part, says it's "willing to engage in a prudent arms control agenda" while dismissing the idea of marginalizing nuclear weapons as a defence tool.

The sea-based weapons will include a low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile and a sea-launched cruise missile. It gave a tally of 1,444 strategic nuclear warheads.

The US military has put countering China and Russian Federation at the centre of a new national defence strategy unveiled earlier this month, shifting priorities away from fighting Islamist militants.

Thus a 2013 Report on Nuclear Employment Strategy stated that all plans for use of nuclear weapons must "for instance, apply the principles of distinction and proportionality and seek to minimize the collateral damage to civilian populations and civilian objects".

"The truth is that nuclear weapons can not be used in compliance with that law, above all because their massive indiscriminate effects make it impossible to distinguish between military targets and civilian populations and infrastructure", he noted.

Any adversary would be uncertain of the yield of an incoming nuclear weapon launched from a strategic submarine, and would nearly certainly respond with strategic weapons, she said. "And it raises the risks of nuclear war".

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A red danger tag hanging in the command and control center is seen inside U.S. Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine USS Hawaii at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Aug. 22, 2014.

Bringing a version of the missile back would be a response to Russia's alleged violation of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, the Pentagon said, adding that it might reconsider if Moscow returned to compliance and "corrects its other destabilizing behaviours".

The Nuclear Posture Review, a report customarily done at the outset of a new USA administration, outlines the Pentagon's nuclear goals under Trump.

The US has 7,000 warheads compared with China's 300.

"We are deeply concerned about the potential consequences of a preemptive military strike on North Korea and the risks of miscalculation and retaliation", they said in a letter.

"Progress in arms control is not an end in and of itself", page 73 of the 74-page strategy says, adding that new advances in arms control are "difficult to envision".

Laid down eight years ago, the previous NPR focused on the importance of reducing the role of nuclear weapons, reflecting the ideals of then President Barack Obama, who championed "a world without nuclear weapons".

It specifically pointed to a Russian doctrine known as "escalate to de-escalate", in which Moscow would use or threaten to use smaller-yield nuclear weapons in a limited, conventional conflict in Europe to compel the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to back down.

James Acton, a nuclear weapons specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that offer seems disingenuous. It notes that such agreements can foster cooperation and confidence among nuclear weapons states and reduce the risk of miscalculation that could lead to war, but it also accuses Russian Federation of undermining those aims by violating numerous treaties.

By doing so, he added, they would lead the world away from nearly certain annihilation and toward the worthy goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and creating a safer and more secure world for all of humanity.

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, U.S., February 6, 2013.

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