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Amid an “unprecedented range and mix of threats,” the United States is planning to refurbish, replace and better target its nuclear triad of intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-based weapons, and long-range bombers equipped with gravity bombs and cruise missiles.

The new “Nuclear Posture Review” announcement comes just a month after a mistaken nuclear alert sent thousands seeking cover in Hawaii.

The NPR released Friday proposes a new buildup of existing and aging American nuclear stockpiles. It is the first conducted since 2010 during the first term of President Barack Obama. President Donald Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis said protection of the U.S. and its partners are the main goals of the massive new investment in the weapons of mass destruction.

“Global threat conditions have worsened markedly since the most recent 2010 NPR, including increasingly explicit nuclear threats from potential adversaries,” the new document states. “The United States now faces a more diverse and advanced nuclear-threat environment than ever before.”

Deterrence needs to assure allies America can defend them, while promising adversaries like North Korea that the U.S. maintains first-use capability with massive destruction potential. Other threats include the increasingly aggressive behavior of adversaries in outer space, and cyber space, the document explains. 

New low-yield submarine based missiles will be developed, which will be deployed on 14 Ohio-class nuclear submarines patrolling the world’s waters, they said. Those missiles will be able to strike regionally within minutes.

Other plans are more long-term, and will be enacted over the next decade. They are geared at making the U.S. nuclear capabilities more “flexible” to respond to threats both nuclear, and non-nuclear.

Those 14 Ohio submarines will be replaced with Columbia-class boomers, which will be constructed beginning in 2021. The 46 nuclear-capable aircrafts (which include B-52 Stratofortresses and B-2 Stealth bombers) will be replaced by the B-21 Raider in the middle of the 2020s. The 400 Minuteman 3 missiles in silos on American bases will be replaced starting in 2029 – a job which will include replacing 450 ICBM launch facilities.

Among the key objectives, as per the DoD: the “capacity to hedge against an uncertain future.”

The costs will be large. Currently nuclear maintenance and readiness accounts for two to three percent of the entire DoD budget. What is proposed is an increase to 6.4 percent of the DoD budget, accounting for under one percent of the total federal budget. The last such comparative increase was larger: the 10.6 percent nuclear portion of the DoD budget in the 1980s, accounting for 3.7 percent of the total federal budget, during the last peak of the Cold War.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons decried what is called the “Trump Nuclear Doctrine” represented in the new NPR.

"There are no good nukes and no such thing as a limited nuclear war. That is a myth the nuclear powers want you to believe. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was ‘low yield,’” said Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of ICAN. “The new Trump Nuclear Doctrine is to deliberately increase that risk. It is an all-out attempt to take nuclear weapons out of the silos and onto the battlefield. This policy is a shift from one where the use of nuclear weapons is possible to one where the use of nuclear weapons is likely."

Owing to the intensified dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea, including tweets, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock’s minute hand as close as it has ever been to metaphorical midnight: two minutes to midnight, a threshold not reached since the 1953 height of the Cold War.

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