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Draft Text Of The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (Npr)

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#1 Der Zeitgeist

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 0907 AM

Read it here: 

https://assets.docum.../Npr-2018-A.pdf

 

Some interesting things about non-strategic low-yield warheads, alert status, and general usability of nuclear weapons.


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#2 Burncycle360

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 2118 PM

Interesting read, thank you!

For those wondering re: low yield warheads
"These supplements will enhance deterrence by denying potential adversaries any mistaken confidence that limited nuclear employment can provide a useful advantage over the United States and its allies.  For example, Russia's belief that limited nuclear first use, potentially including low-yield weapons, can provide such an advantage is based, in part, on Moscow's perception that its greater number and variety of non-strategic nuclear systems provide a coercive advantage in crises and at lower levels of conflict.  Correcting this mistaken Russian perception is a strategic imperative."


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#3 Chris Werb

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 0422 AM

Great find. Very interesting!
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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 0534 AM

Yeah we touched on this in the cold war thread. Basically America is being slammed for doing what Britain and Russia have been doing for years, and nobody noticed. Go figure.


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#5 Der Zeitgeist

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 1202 PM

Well, the whole discussion about nonstrategic nukes is nothing new really. It's the old debate of usability and finding new scenarios for nuclear use vs. putting up the threshold higher so any nuclear employment equals "end of the world".

 

We had the same debate back when G. W. Bush had his NPR.

 

A lot of this also seems to be bureaucratic and institutional inertia. For the US, in the current fiscal climate, the sanest thing would be cutting out one of the legs of the triad, and using the money you save by that to improve nuclear command and control. Most experts agree that silo-based ICBMs would be the best thing to cut, also improving crisis stability and solving the launch on warning-problem.

 

Of course, no one wants to lose their toys, so every few years, the different services start inventing new and innovative approaches for nuclear use to stay relevant.  :)


Edited by Der Zeitgeist, 13 January 2018 - 1303 PM.

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#6 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 1240 PM

I cant see much point in silo based anymore. The least a land based part of the triad ought to be is a mobile launcher, such as the Russians have.  But considering the lead the US has in the sea launched deterrent, there doesnt seem to be much point in not doubling down on it.

 

Truthfully you could do without manned bombers at all, but its not as if Stealth bombers are not useful in other roles too.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 13 January 2018 - 1244 PM.

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#7 Dawes

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 1451 PM

All current nuclear weapons designs in US service seem to be pretty elderly (Minuteman, Trident, B-61, B-83, W-80, etc.). B-61 has been more or less continually update since the 1960's.


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#8 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 0316 AM

Its a problem we grapple with as well apparently, though we are fortunate in only having 200 warheads or so. Its a lot easier to do full fleet replacement I guess.


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#9 DKTanker

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 1856 PM

I cant see much point in silo based anymore. The least a land based part of the triad ought to be is a mobile launcher, such as the Russians have.  But considering the lead the US has in the sea launched deterrent, there doesnt seem to be much point in not doubling down on it.

 

Truthfully you could do without manned bombers at all, but its not as if Stealth bombers are not useful in other roles too.

Hard to tell how useful are the remaining boomers considering how easily Naval/CIA/FBI personnel have found it to sell information to other nations.  


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#10 DKTanker

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 1857 PM

All current nuclear weapons designs in US service seem to be pretty elderly (Minuteman, Trident, B-61, B-83, W-80, etc.). B-61 has been more or less continually update since the 1960's.

Replace guidance systems and tritium as needed.  It isn't like improving on 100 meter CEP will make much difference.


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