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Pentagon Suggests Allowing Nuke Threats to Deter Crippling Cyberattacks

Pentagon Suggests Allowing Nuke Threats to Deter Crippling Cyberattacks
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 January 2018 09:27 AM

The very limited circumstances in which an American president would threaten first use of nuclear weapons, such as in response to the use of biological weapons against the U.S., has for the first time been expanded to include attempts to destroy the country's infrastructure in the most crippling kind of cyberattacks, according to a newly drafted nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Donald Trump for approval, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The Pentagon wrote the draft document, which calls the strategic situation facing the U.S. bleak due to advances in nuclear technology by Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

The document, currently being reviewed by the White House, is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

The HuffPost last week was the first to publish a draft of the document.

Although the Pentagon and White House declined to comment on the draft because Trump has not yet approved it, the document states that "we must look reality in the eye and see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be [and realign] our nuclear policy with a realistic assessment of the threats we face today and the uncertainties regarding the future security environment."

The document also cites "particular concern" about "expanding threats in space and cyberspace" to the command-and-control systems of the nuclear arsenal, part of increasing worry that the nuclear response networks could be disabled or sent false data in a cyberattack, especially since Russian and Chinese strategies have all been updated in recent years to reflect the reality that any conflict would start with a quick strike on space and communications systems.

Some experts warn about the danger of one particular aspect of the new strategy, which embraces the American production of a new generation of small, low-yield nuclear weapons, according to the Times.

These experts warn that such smaller arms could be more tempting to use because they can blur the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons.

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The limited circumstances in which an American president would threaten first use of nuclear weapons has for the first time been expanded to include attempts to destroy the country's infrastructure...
pentagon, nuclear, threats, cyberattacks
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2018-27-17
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 09:27 AM
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