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    US Reaffirms Utility of Nuclear Weapons - US Global Strike Command Director

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    US Air Force Global Strike Command Director Michael Fortney said that the role and utility of the US nuclear arsenal is as important in the current strategic climate as it was in previous decades.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The role and utility of the US nuclear arsenal is as important in the current strategic climate as it was in previous decades, US Air Force Global Strike Command Director Michael Fortney said.

    “The role of our [US] nuclear arsenal is at least as important today as it was in decades past,” Fortney stated at the annual nuclear deterrence summit in Washington, DC on Wednesday. “I believe US nuclear weapons have an important role for our country, our allies, and… a role for the world.”

    Those responsible for the US nuclear weapons arsenal must “understand their role and utility” Fortney said, emphasizing their utility as a “strategic speed bump” that has so far prevented major world powers from engaging in head-to-head war.

    Without naming specific countries, Fortney noted increased tensions among nuclear armed states who are currently modernizing their arsenals across all legs of their nuclear triad.

    Fortney raised concerns about certain nuclear states revising their military doctrines reflecting “a resurgent doctrinal utility” for their strategic nuclear forces.

    The top nuclear powers on the planet, Russia and the United States, are currently engaged in extensive nuclear modernization, according to both countries’ defense agencies.

    Russia announced an updated military doctrine at the end of 2014 re-emphasizing its right to use nuclear weapons in retaliation or if a conventional attack threatened the very existence of the state, according to the document. The new doctrine stopped short of including a nuclear pre-emptive strike notion.

     

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