According to the World Wide Web report, on the 28th, the US Department of Defense released the “2022 Nuclear Posture Review Report”, which openly listed China, Russia, Iran and North Korea as “competitors” or “serious threats”. The Cold War mentality of “counterattacking competitors with military superiority” has aroused great concern in international public opinion.
In the foreword, the United States exaggerated the security environment in which it was located, tried to exaggerate the challenges the United States faced from countries such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, and made excuses for expanding its nuclear arsenal.
The report stated that in the present and the next 20 years, the United States is facing interrelated strategic challenges, with competitors trying to create area denial/anti-access systems, and developing and deploying more advanced ballistic missiles to threaten the United States. Develop new nuclear deterrent capabilities.
Exaggerating the “sense of crisis” and making excuses for nuclear expansion
As for the so-called “competitors”, China and Russia are the first to bear the brunt. The report follows Biden’s statement that “China is a long-term competitor of the United States, and Russia is a serious threat.”
The report argues that Russia has the most powerful and diverse nuclear force, with an active stockpile of 2,000 non-strategic nuclear warheads not limited by the New START Treaty, “posing a persistent existential threat to the United States and its allies.”
China, on the other hand, is “modernizing its nuclear weapons” and developing a “more reliable and diverse nuclear arsenal” to “use nuclear weapons to coerce the United States and its allies to achieve certain goals.”
While China and Russia are at different stages of nuclear weapons development, both pose a growing nuclear threat to the United States and its allies, the report said. By the 2030s, the United States will face two nuclear powers as strategic competitors and potential adversaries for the first time, so “the position of nuclear weapons in the United States’ strategy towards China and Russia will undergo major changes”, otherwise the United States will undertake unacceptable deterrence and risk.
It is not difficult to see that the United States’ research and judgment on its own security environment and nuclear risks is actually looking for an excuse to expand its nuclear arsenal.
The United States has the most modern nuclear arsenal, but it still needs to expand
After exaggerating the “nuclear threat” of the United States, the report said that “most of the US nuclear weapons stockpile is aging and has not undergone comprehensive refurbishment, and at a time when nuclear risks are rising, part of the refurbishment policy is not in line with US strategy and interests.”
Then the report began to list the projects and ask Congress for money, which is already a routine of the US Department of Defense.
During the Trump administration, the Pentagon had proposed spending $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years to maintain and upgrade nuclear weapons, but in this year’s report, the Pentagon said it would seek to be more “flexible” and “modern.” The Trinity nuclear strike capability is intended to modernize the Trinity nuclear force by the end of the 2020s.
In terms of land-based ICBMs, the US Department of Defense plans to fully retire 400 “Minuteman-3” ICBMs by 2029 and replace them with “Sentry” ICBMs, which will conduct their first flight tests in 2023.
In terms of strategic bombers, the US Department of Defense plans to replace the aging B-1B and B-2A with the B-21 stealth bomber, and upgrade the engine and communication system of the B-52H strategic bomber.
The most powerful B83 thermonuclear bomb in the U.S. nuclear arsenal will be retired, and the active B61-12 nuclear bomb will continue to extend its service life. The United States plans to deploy the nuclear bomb to Europe in December and gradually replace it with the F-35A for the U.S. Air Force in Europe. and fourth-generation fighter jets from NATO allies.
In terms of sea-based nuclear weapons, the sea-based nuclear cruise missiles proposed in the Trump era have been demonstrated by the US Department of Defense as “zero value”. At present, the development work has been terminated. The US Navy will continue to use Trident D5 submarine-launched missiles and low-yield submarine-launched missiles. W76-2 nuclear warhead.
The report states that the low-yield W76-2 nuclear warhead is “an important means of deterring the use of limited nuclear weapons.” In other words, this means an increased willingness of the U.S. military to use nuclear weapons in military conflicts.
It is not difficult to see that the logic of the United States by expanding its nuclear arsenal to “reduce nuclear risks and facilitate dialogue on nuclear issues” is fundamentally untenable. The United States itself is a nuclear proliferator, and the United States and the United Kingdom’s assistance in building nuclear submarines in Australia has clearly violated the “No. Treaty on the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Regarding the U.S.’s discrepancy, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin pointed out that the U.S. nuclear policy reflects the hegemonic logic of the U.S. seeking absolute military superiority, which will stimulate the nuclear arms race.
Lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons
In the preface, this year’s US Nuclear Posture Review reaffirmed the joint statement signed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: A nuclear war cannot be won, nor must it be fought. But in the main text, the report deleted Biden’s “no first use of nuclear weapons” and “nuclear weapons only for deterrence and counterattack” policies.
The report also mentions that U.S. nuclear forces will be used not only to deter large-scale or low-yield nuclear attacks, but also to “deter” limited nuclear threats from competitors who may rely on limited nuclear threats as a strategy to end conflict means. “Without U.S. resolve to prevent escalation, U.S. leaders will have difficulty deciding whether to project conventional military power,” the report said.
In addition, the United States intends to lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons. The report argues that the use of nuclear weapons is necessary for deterrence by the United States, given emerging, non-nuclear threats with strategic implications. In other words, the United States intends to carry out nuclear retaliation against the enemy without a nuclear strike.
At the same time, the United States has also extended its nuclear umbrella to allies and partners. Modernizing the U.S. nuclear force is key to reassuring allies and partners that the U.S. is committed and capable of responding to threats, and expanding the nuclear umbrella helps reassure non-nuclear allies and partners that they can defend against repeated threats, the report said.
However, the problem is that the report does not clearly define the so-called “partners”, which undoubtedly provides an excuse for the United States to carry out nuclear proliferation and recklessly use low-yield nuclear weapons.
It is worth noting that in the report, the US Department of Defense hypocritically emphasized that the United States is willing to have a dialogue on the issue of nuclear disarmament, but in fact, what the United States has done on the nuclear issue runs counter to its commitment in the report. Wang Wenbin said that the US policy is intended to provoke a nuclear arms race and nuclear confrontation, seriously undermining international and regional peace and stability.