June 21, 2015
The United States should develop new low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons to deter countries from seeking nuclear weapons of their own, a new think-tank report says. It also argues that the U.S. should base more nuclear weapons around the world to better deter attacks.
“Forward deploying a robust set of discriminate nuclear response options conveys the message that the United States will ‘respond in kind’ and proportionately to nuclear attacks on its allies,” wrote Clark Murdock, a former Pentagon policy official who is now a senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
CSIS' “Project Atom” report, provided to Defense One in advance of its June 22 release, was produced by Murdock and eight co-authors as a "zero-based, blue-sky" look at American's nuclear arsenal. It challenges the Obama administration’s policy of seeking to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in national strategy, and argues for new bombs, missiles, and delivery platforms to replace the ones that have been around since the Cold War.
Murdock’s report comes just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would deploy 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles. It also comes as the Obama administration faces a handful of decisions on nuclear modernization, including proposals to develop new weapons.