China, Iran, Russia Lash Out At US Nuclear Policy Plan

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

But the NPR said the United States should start mounting these tactical nuclear weapons on strategic and attack submarines.

Freeman, who served as assistant secretary of state for global security affairs under President Bill Clinton, said the review appeared to prepare to release the U.S. armed forces from weapons constraints they had kept for more than 30 years.

The document further calls for the U.S. to tackle "an unprecedented range and mix of threats" posed by foreign powers, such as Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

Russia was quick to assail what it deemed an "anti-Russian" nuclear strategy.

U.S. Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine USS Hawaii is berthed at a dock at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, August 22, 2014.

The US is concerned about its nuclear arsenal becoming obsolete and no longer an effective deterrent. It didn't provide details but said the changes were done in such a way that Russian Federation is unable to confirm that the reconfigured B-52s and sub-based launchers are truly non-nuclear.

Washington also "arbitrarily converted" some underground missile launch sites into training facilities, which wasn't spelled out in the treaty, the ministry said.

The Trump administration concluded that the USA should largely follow its predecessor's blueprint for modernizing the nuclear arsenal, including new bomber aircraft, submarines, and land-based missiles. The plan, which calls for the US nuclear arsenal to be revamped with the development of new low-yield atomic weapons, was announced in a policy statement by President Donald Trump's administration released on February 2.

For the first time since 1945, America is considering the use of first-strike nuclear weapons.

The document itself has a focus on holding nuclear weapons to deter nuclear action from Russian Federation. That probably will arise at a House hearing Tuesday featuring Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Russia, Iran, and China have strongly criticized Washington's newly revealed policy plan to expand USA nuclear weapons capabilities in order to deter other countries.

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Consequently, the review said the USA would modify "a small number" of existing long-range ballistic missiles carried by Trident strategic submarines to fit them with smaller-yield nuclear warheads.

The defence ministry in Beijing said Washington had played up the threat of China's nuclear threat, adding that its own policy was defensive in nature.

The United States and Russian Federation signed The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in 2010 that requires both the countries to limit their nuclear weapons to 1,550 each.

The strategy says relatively little about arms control.

There's a place for arms control in the Trump administration's new nuclear strategy, but it's a very small place.

"This is a response to Russian expansion of their capability and the nature of their strategy and doctrine", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote in the 75-page summary of the review, which also highlights the USA concerns about North Korea, Iran, and China.

Rachel Bronson, CEO and president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said the Nuclear Posture Review "is a spruced-up Cold War document, responding in dated ways to current threats". Priority should be given to hindering North Korea's nuclear development and reducing Russian and Chinese threats.

"If you believe that nuclear weapons deter and bring peace and stability, then we should welcome North Korea", Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said mockingly. In a report issued last Friday, the USA made the rather unexpected observation that China should not mistakenly conclude that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is acceptable.

"Any use will trigger a nuclear weapons conflict with catastrophic humanitarian consequences for civilians".

"Importantly, it reaffirms our commitment to arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, maintains the moratorium on nuclear testing, and commits to improving efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism".

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