Report claims hackers could start a nuclear war through vulnerable weapons systems

Share

"We spend US$5 billion per submarine to make it invisible and we put a lot of warheads on each submarine and so what they want to do is take one missile, put one small warhead on it and launch it first, so the submarine is vulnerable to Russian attack", Wolfsthal said.

The United States already has enormous nuclear and conventional capabilities, and experts say there is no evidence these so-called more usable low-yield nuclear weapons will force adversaries to behave better.

"But my sense is that there already is a nuclear arms race", she said. Kimball is also concerned about the review allowing for the possibility of nuclear testing and expanding the scope of use of nuclear weapon to respond to non-nuclear threat.

But nuclear weapons are unlike any other weapons.

Trump's rhetoric towards North Korea of its nuclear weapons program has the group particularly anxious, noting his "nuclear button" tweet and his "fire and fury" threat last summer. At the of 2017, 122 countries at the United Nations voted to support a global ban treaty on nuclear so the majority opinion amongst countries in the world is to try take some serious steps in getting rid of nuclear weapons and de-escalating the threat of nuclear war, so it was very much against prevailing an worldwide political consensus.

In 2015, former secretary of defense William J. Perry and former assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs Andy Weber penned an opinion piece in The Washington Post asking President Obama to "kill the new cruise missile" precisely for that reason, calling it a "uniquely destabilizing type of weapon".

There has been no evidence produced by anyone that Moscow is committed to a wildly adventurist policy of launching tactical nuclear weapons against United States forces based on the assumption that Washington would not unleash its nuclear arsenal in response. "USA already has diverse array of nuclear capabilities & there's no evidence that "more usable" nukes strengthen deterrence or compel adversaries to make different choices", said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director at the Arms Control Association, in a series of tweets on Friday.

In a nuclear posture review (NPR) document set to be published by the Pentagon after the president's state of the union speech at the end of January, it is expected the administration will widen the scenarios in which such weapons could be used and will propose developing lower yield missiles for reactive use against non nuclear attacks.

Moreover, once nuclear weapons are used in a conflict against another nuclear-armed adversary, even in small numbers or in a regional conflict, there is no guarantee against a cycle of escalation leading to all-out global nuclear war. The new plan dramatically shortens the timeline for a "simple [nuclear] test" to six to 10 months from the previous 24- to 36-month requirement. Furthermore, if new designs are pursued, nuclear testing is more likely. In reality, there is no new "missile gap".

Soofer added that the new strategy under consideration envisioned "a broad range of forces of various ranges, various yields, some deployed in the theater, others employed from the United States, which can defeat Russia's and China's nuclear strategy".

IDN is the flagship of International Press Syndicate.

Share