The Associated Press reported Friday that President Donald Trump’s new nuclear doctrine “is mostly in line with Obama plan, but more aggressive toward Russia.”
BREAKING: Trump nuclear doctrine is mostly in line with Obama plan, but more aggressive toward Russia.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 2, 2018
The Washington Postreported that the administration’s new strategy did reverse key elements of Obama’s nuclear approach by calling for “the introduction of two new types of weapons, effectively ending Obama-era efforts to reduce the size and scope of the U.S. arsenal and minimize the role of nuclear weapons in defense planning.”
Obama had believed the U.S. could lead by example, downgrading its own nuclear capabilities in the hope that other countries would do the same. But the Pentagon concluded that China and Russia had not followed suit, and that “the capability of Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals is actually getting better against ours,” in the words of Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Trump’s policy is more aggressive toward Russia because it seeks the development of smaller-scale nuclear weapons, which Russia already has, so that the U.S. will not have to choose between launching a large nuclear weapon and mere conventional weapons in response to a hypothetical small-scale Russian strike on a U.S. ally.
That means effectively deterring Russia from using its small-scale nuclear arsenal for tactical military operations.
The AP reports that the Trump administration “said Russia must be persuaded it would face ‘unacceptably dire costs’ if it were to threaten even limited nuclear attack in Europe.”
Also on Friday, Trump’s critics revived accusations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, in response to the House Intelligence Committee’s release of a memo alleging that the FBI and Department of Justice used partisan sources improperly to obtain surveillance warrants on a Trump associate.
Pelosi’s response to Nunes memo: “What do the Russians have on Trump?” pic.twitter.com/I1jxQDwAkg
— Lisa Mascaro (@LisaMascaro) February 2, 2018
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that “the President refuses to hold [Russian President Vladimir] Putin accountable, making us all ask: what do the Russians have on Trump, politically, financially and personally?”.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.