Military Capabilities

Mattis wants SLCM for INF negotiation leverage with Russia

06 February 2018

Key Points

  • The Pentagon views its request for a new SLCM as INF negotiating leverage with Russia
  • Mattis said Russia is unlikely to make a concession if it does not get one in return

The Pentagon wants a new nuclear sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM) to help leverage Russia back into compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), according to the US defence secretary.

“I don’t believe you can go into a negotiation and try to get something for nothing,” James Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) on 6 February.

The US announced on 2 February in its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that it wanted a new nuclear SLCM.

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