US May Deploy More Nukes Worldwide

( – The concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) was a Cold War-era doctrine meant to forestall any exchange of nuclear weapons between the United States and the then-USSR because both countries would become radioactive wastelands. The years after the collapse of the Soviet Union saw the drawdown of deployment by the Americans but a shifting geopolitical situation with some rogue nations advancing their technology and the aggressiveness being shown by adversarial governments may lead to a reversal of that policy.

Potential Buildup

Pranay Vaddi is a part of the National Security Council (NSC) as a Special Assistant to President Joe Biden. On June 7, he gave a speech (transcript) at the annual meeting of the Arms Control Association (ACA). He pointed to collaborative efforts among the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to help arm Russia in its war of attempted conquest in Ukraine.

After reaffirming the administration’s commitment to limiting nuclear proliferation, Vaddi issued a warning to America’s adversaries that if they are “unwilling to follow” but continue their attempts to grow their atomic weapons stockpiles, we would need to increase our deployment of them. He let them know that the United States has already been updating “each leg of our nuclear triad (land-based, submarine-launched, and aircraft such as the B-2 and new B-21 stealth bombers)” so that if the [current or any future] president decides that it is necessary to deploy more of the weapons, the military will be ready to do so on short notice.

The most recent and urgent threat to the current status quo comes from Russian President Vladimir Putin and the war that he launched in Ukraine where he has threatened to retaliate with his nukes should the weapons provided to the defenders by the United States or any NATO ally be used to strike within the sovereign territory of his country or Belarus. Biden made a policy change saying that the defenders could now use the arms that the administration has given to them may be used to strike into the aggressor’s homeland in certain circumstances which was announced on May 31.

Perhaps not coincidentally, that same day, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said that it would be a “fatal mistake” to believe it when “NATO’s retired old farts babble” their opinions that his country would never use nuclear weapons to defend its territory. He wanted to make it clear to Western leaders that this is not some kind of ruse to make them back away from changing their current doctrine on the use of weapons supplied to Ukraine, but rather that their choices are pushing this towards a “worst-case scenario,” according to the state-run news agency Tass.

The DPRK and Iran have both been working on programs to enrich the uranium (U-235) isotope found in nature into a fissile weapons-grade material they can then develop into a warhead that can be attached to a missile. The two countries have been cooperating on missile development for decades, but their shared desires to become nuclear powers and their similar anti-Israel rhetoric have led some experts to conclude that their relationship is growing closer; both of these loose cannons have also formed a four-way alliance with Russia and the PRC.

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