The president of United States, Joe Bidenhas canceled a program 10,000 million dollars to develop sea-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles. A decision, collected in the Nuclear Posture Reviewwhich has aroused discomfort in the country’s Defense Department.
Every four years, the US government is required to post a new National Security Strategy where the main threats to the country and the plans to address them are defined. This document is usually presented at the beginning of each presidential term, but the current head of the Executive It’s been almost two years to reveal his agenda on foreign policy. The excuse? The Russian invasion of Ukraine.
When the strategy finally came to light in October It did so together with other complementary plans that are also essential for national security, such as the Nuclear Posture Review. And it is in this statement, which serves to explain why the US has atomic weapons, when it will consider using them and which ones it will need in the future, that it is announced the termination of a program previously supported by the Pentagon military hierarchy in 2018.
The growing and repeated threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine and the increase in tensions between the US and China (another of the nuclear powers) has caused the plan, which usually goes unnoticed, to have been reviewed with a magnifying glass on this occasion.
Thus, in the unstable international context, the pentagon hawks do not share the nuclear stance adopted by the Biden Administration, in accordance with the Times. The main point of contention is precisely the elimination of the nuclear-capable tactical cruise missile system known as SLCM-N (for the acronym in English of Nuclear-Armed Sea-Launched Cruise Missile).
If the Government has decided to suppress it, it is because it considers that it no longer contributes to its original mission of reinforcing deterrence against regional adversaries. For that, it is justified in the document, the W76-2 are already there. Low-yield nuclear warheads that Washington began developing to equip submarines in 2019, during the tenure of former President Donald Trump.
“We don’t know for sure if the SLCM-N serve by themselves as a lever to negotiate with Russia the limitation of its non-strategic nuclear weapons”
“We have come to the conclusion that we do not know for sure if the SLCM-N serve by themselves as a lever to negotiate with Russia the limitation of its non-strategic nuclear weapons”, the text details. “high cost” of these cruise missiles against “other nuclear modernization programs and defense priorities.”
Regarding these priorities, it should be remembered that numerous international analysts have been warning for months that US efforts to help to Ukraine they could be running out the country’s arms reserves.
Criticism of the White House’s position on the military budget has come from different quarters. In April, the chief of staffGen. Mark Milley, told Congress that his position in favor of the SLCM-N had not changed and that he believed multiple options were needed.
Subsequently, the United States Senate Armed Services Committee -the permanent body of the Upper House that oversees defense, state security and military affairs- called the decision to abolish SLCM-N “unfortunate”. by both Mark Milley and Navy Admiral Charles A. Richard,” points out in a statement.
For their part, former Defense Department nuclear advisers such as John R. Harvey and Robert Soofer, of the Democratic and Republican administrations respectively, point out that “SLCM-N is necessary to address a gap in US nuclear deterrence capabilities created by Russia’s and China’s continued efforts to maintain and expand regional nuclear forces,” according to the report. think tank Atlantic Council.
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