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    ATLANTIC OCEAN (August 31, 2016) An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class fleet ballistic-missile submarine USS Maryland (SSBN 738) off the coast of Florida. The test launch was part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs demonstration and shakedown operation certification process

    US Plan to Remove Nuke Constraints May Shift View That Nuclear War 'Unthinkable'

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    Arms control advocates have voiced their alarm at new proposal to make smaller, more usable nuclear weapons, stating it will increase the likelihood of nuclear war.

    The previous version of this article mistakenly attributed the comment made by Arthur West in this article to Jon Wolfsthal. Sputnik apologizes for the error.

    Trump's new nuclear policy is significantly more hawkish than the posture adopted by the Obama administration, which sought to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US defense.

    Jon Wolfsthal, special assistant to Barack Obama on arms control and nonproliferation, stated the new nuclear posture review prepared by the Pentagon, envisages a modified version of the Trident D5 submarine-launched missiles with only part of its normal warhead, with the intention of deterring the use of tactical warheads deployed in conflict in Eastern Europe.

    Earlier Sputnik spoke to Arthur West, Chairman of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, about the consequences of Trump’s desire to further develop nuclear arms.

    Sputnik: Will this latest move from Trump likely increase the possibility of nuclear war?

    Arthur West: This is certainly very depressing and worrying news that we're hearing today. I think it changes the context — most international opinion is that nuclear war is unthinkable. The worry that we, in Scottish CND and wider peace movements have, is it could maybe change the context and lead countries to believe nuclear war is feasible. 

    Sputnik: What affect will this have on international relations between the US and other countries?

    Arthur West: I think it adds to tensions in situations between the US and North Korea as well as the US and North Korea, but I also think it goes against the international political context. 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 international political consensus. The US didn't support these global ban talks and this is very disappointing.

    READ MORE: No Nukes Co-Founder: 'US Needs to Prove It's Militarily Superior to Rest'

    Sputnik: So what sort of response should we be seeing from international community to ensure nuclear weapons and never used between countries?

    Arthur West: I think the global ban treaty vote in the United Nations that happened in the end of 2017, where 122 countries voted to get rid of nuclear weapons, these kinds of initiatives are the ones that need be support by countries. Governments such as the UK need to be pressurized to get involved in these initiatives. In a UK context it is absolutely immoral and massively expensive for us to be thinking of renewing our own nuclear weapon. The fight to get rid of the trident nuclear weapons need to be stepped up as well. In light of what's coming out of the Trump administration, our message is we [Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament] will be doubling our efforts both at a UK and global level to rid nuclear weapons from the world.

    The views and opinions expressed by Arthur West are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    nuclear weapons, Donald Trump, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Europe, United States
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