CBRN Assessment

Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review mulling variable-yield weapons

04 August 2017

The Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is considering wide-ranging options for strategic deterrence, including low-yield or variable-yield nuclear weapons, according to a top officer.

The NPR, due by year’s end, is studying how to organise and modernise the Pentagon’s 'triad' of delivery systems: strategic nuclear submarines, silo-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and long-range strategic bombers.

“We expect that there will be significant follow-on implantation work,” General Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during 3 August remarks at an Air Force Association event on Capitol Hill.

The fundamentals of deterrence have not changed, but the “tools of deterrence are evolving very quickly”, he noted.

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