09:30 GMT16 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US plans to build new submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCM) and expand its nuclear arsenal are not offensive in nature and are a continuation of policies going back 70 years, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy David Trachtenberg said on Monday.

    "Long standing tenets have not changed from 2010 [nuclear policy review under President Barack Obama] to 2018 [the Nuclear Policy Review released this year]," Trachtenberg said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation. "[The new NPR] enhances deterrence and raises the nuclear threshold."

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    Trachtenberg also defended the development of a new low-yield tactical warhead and SLCM as being within the terms of existing nuclear arms reduction treaties and therefore, he claimed, they did not contribute to a new arms race.

    "A low yield SLCM enhances deterrence… Our arsenal will stay within the new START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty] limits… The goal of the NPR is to deter nuclear war not to fight one… and to ensure that deterrence will not fail," he said. "Both capabilities are fully consistent with our treaty obligations."

    Trachtenberg claimed the recommendations of the 2018 review remained "broadly consistent" with the policy of every administration over the past 70 years from President Harry Truman.


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    defensive weapons, nuclear weapons, Donald Trump, US