Jon Wolfsthal, the special assistant to former US President Barack Obama on arms control and nonproliferation, has seen the most recent draft of the US nuclear policy review and held conversations with its authors, The Guardian reported. According to him, the new review prepared by the Pentagon envisages the use of modernized Trident D5 submarine-based missiles equipped with such warheads in order to deter Russia from using tactical warheads in the event of a potential conflict in Eastern Europe.
"My read is this is a walk-back from how extreme it was early on. It doesn’t have as much terrible stuff in it as it did originally… What I’ve been told by the people who wrote the thing was what they were trying to do was to send a clear deterrent message to the Russians, the North Korean and the Chinese. And there is pretty good, moderate but strong language that makes clear that any attempt by Russia or North Korea to use nuclear weapons would result in a massive consequence for them," Wolfsthal was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
According to the publication, the nuclear posture review (NPR) is expected to be published in late January, and this will be the first such document in eight years. The new nuclear policy is much more hawkish compared to the posture adopted by the Obama administration, which sought to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US defense, the media outlet noted, however, Wolfsthal believes that earlier drafts of the NPR were even more combative.
Thus, the forthcoming document may recall the US national security strategy, which listed Russia, China, Iran and North Korea as "the revisionist powers", threatening the country's security.
This stance has been widely criticized by the specified countries, with China calling Washington to "abandon its Cold War mentality" and Iran saying that the NSS was a US attempt to shift responsibility for their own failures on other nations.