Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Jim Mattis: Low-yield nukes mean US won't have to choose between 'surrender' and 'suicide'

Via Billy

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis tried repeatedly to make the case that the whole point of having a handful of low-yield missile warheads was not for the U.S. to use them, but to make sure America's enemies don't use theirs. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

It’s a key question in the debate over the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review:

Does adding a couple of low-yield weapons to each of America’s ballistic missile submarines make the U.S. safer, or move the U.S. closer to nuclear war?

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis believes a low-yield option that doesn’t rely on an airplane having to penetrate enemy air defenses increases deterrence, and therefore lowers the risk of miscalculation, especially by the Russians.

It’s a perfectly logical argument, but it’s one that arms reduction advocates and skeptical members of Congress have a hard time accepting.


  1. ... safer, or move the U.S. closer to nuclear war?

    That's not an either-or question. WINNING a nuclear war makes us safer. Enemies who fear anihilation don't mess with us. The problem with any size nuke is that it's a nuke, so we will never use it against people. We are far too squeamish for that and have been for decades.

    1. we will never use it against people.

      I can't imagine an instance where we wouldn't retaliate if hit first, but if you mean a city that has no military capability then that makes sense.