By Lisa Ferdinando
The review makes it clear that the United States will respond in kind to any nuclear threat, Selva said at the ninth annual Defense Programs conference hosted by McAleese and Associates and Credit Suisse.
The vice chairman underscored that the goal of the NPR is to maintain a safe, reliable, dependable and secure nuclear arsenal. “We reviewed the world as it is, not the world as we wished it could be,” Selva said.
The NPR projected what capabilities might be useful to supplement the existing delivery systems in the nuclear triad to “raise the bar for all adversaries who might contemplate use of nuclear weapons against the United States or our allies,” he explained.
The new capabilities are the sea-launched cruise missile and a low-yield nuclear weapon that could be delivered from a submarine platform, Selva said. “Don’t mistake the discussion of new capabilities for growth in the nuclear arsenal,” he added, and please don’t fall in the trap of having the conversation that low-yield lowers the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons,” he said.
“We’ve actually created a safer world,” he said. “That’s not to say that we’re free of the threat from nuclear weapons.”
The Nuclear Posture Review, which was released Feb. 2, is nested in the other new national security strategies: the National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy and a National Military Strategy, Selva explained.
“All of those set a vector for where we want to move the department, and they are all nested in how we built the [fiscal year 2019] budget request,” he said.
The nuclear strategy and acquiring the best and most advanced technologies are vital elements as the United States seeks to apply its power and influence around the world, Selva told the conference audience. The United States must continue to build strong alliances, and another important aspect in national security is to maintain the capability and capacity to deploy forces anywhere in the world and project American power where necessary to defend U.S. interests, he said.
“If there is no other reason to bring new technologies and capabilities into our force today,” Selva said, “it’s to make damn sure that no asymmetry from an outside force can prevent us from projecting American force and American power and American influence at the point in place of our choosing.”
Source: DoD News