MINI NUKES IN U.S. ARSENAL

Fox News on November 7, 2017, published an article by defense specialist Allison Barrie on mini nukes being a better solution than big nuclear bombs. Excerpts below:

Earlier this year, Trump mandated a thorough review of America’s nuclear posture and ballistic missile defense. So back in the States, some of the brightest minds in the Department of Defense have been focused on this Review that will provide the President with recommendations and options relating to the threat of nuclear war.

Over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that about $400 billion dollars will be invested in modernizing and maintaining U.S. nuclear forces.

The U.S. has a vast and formidable nuclear arsenal…But much of the nuke program dates back to the Cold War and is feeling its age. The review could provide ideas to adapt, modernize and innovate so the United States is even more prepared to tackle today’s nuclear threats.

The review has been very closely held with little hinted as to what the recommendations and options will be – but we do know that last year, the Defense Science Board’s “Seven Defense Priorities for the New Administration” report recommended that the Pentagon consider focusing on more low-yield nuclear weapons – aka “mini nukes.”

Smaller, variable, more “tactical” nukes are a strong contender for development by the military in the modernization process…the idea is that the power of these nuclear weapons could be adjustable.

Think of it as a “dial a yield” bomb…this mini nuke could be dialed up for stronger destruction or dialed down for less.

Each mini nuke could be tailored to the specific, necessary scale of destruction. For example, it could target and annihilate say a square mile – without the areas outside that mile being hit by the explosion.

More accurate nuclear strikes with an adjustable nuke warhead could reduce collateral damage and radioactive fallout.

The military already has some very successful initiatives underway to make nukes smaller and more precise. For example, adjustments to the B61 bombs, enhanced with advanced tech like steerable fins, have already proven very successful.

Variable yield mini nukes could potentially provide more flexibility and options.

Advocates for mini nuke type capability have argued that if the U.S. is attacked by North Korea with a nuclear weapon, then Trump needs the ability to launch a calibrated, targeted nuclear attack in response.

A variable yield mini nuke could give the President the means to launch a more contained strike with less radioactive fallout.

Selecting this low-yield, tailored weapon instead of a massive high yield nuke, Trump could eliminate a specific dangerous threat without destructively impacting the entire region – including allies like South Korea and Japan.

An adjustable mini nuke could also potentially enable the US to better discriminate by specifically targeting perpetrators and reducing civilian casualties.

If the most terrible scenario happens and the US needs to deploy a nuke, mini nukes may be one solution to ensuring this catastrophic weapon is precise and would allow Trump to avoid vast civilian casualties as much as possible.

To put this in context, rather than unleashing a nuclear weapon that could kill a country’s entire population in example [there could be an] option to use a tailored mini nuke to target a dangerous military installation instead.

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