The U.S. Plans To Loosen Rules On When It Can Use Nukes, So Seeya Later Y’All

Today in ‘looming nuclear apocalypse’ news: the Trump administration is planning to loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons and develop new, low-yield nuclear warheads. Fun! It’s going to be really nice when the world is incinerated in nuclear fire.

As opposed to Obama, who sought to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US defence, it looks like the new administration is keen to turn up the heat. Jon Wolfsthal, who was special assistant to Barack Obama on arms control and nonproliferation, says a new review by the Pentagon endorses new low-yield warheads with the intention of acting as a deterrent to Russia.

The review also expands the circumstances in which the United States can use a nuke. Said circumstances now include a response to a non-nuclear attack that caused mass casualties” or in response to an attack aimed at critical infrastructure or nuclear control sites. This means that the U.S. could launch a nuclear attack in response to, for example, a large-scale hacking attempt on the country’s financial markets.

Wolfsthal told The Guardian that the report he saw was better than what the Pentagon originally planned to do. “My read is this is a walk-back from how extreme it was early on. It doesn’t have as much terrible stuff in it as it did originally,” Wolfsthal said. “But it’s still bad.”

But it’s the mini-nukes which are causing particular consternation among experts and peace activists. They’re supposed to be some the U.S. can wage a ‘small’ nuclear war if the situation demands it, but it’s worth remembering that there’s no fuckin’ thing as a ‘small nuclear war’. All nuclear wars – in an age where there are a number of states armed to the teeth with nukes – would be absolutely cataclysmic.