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The "nuclearization" of precision weapons of the USA?
Material posted: Ponomarenko Oleg J.Publication date: 10-08-2017
Last Thursday, August 3, the Vice-Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff U.S. army, air force General Paul Selva, speaking Michalowska Institute, said that the country needs to develop nuclear ammunition of low power.

The necessity of this, in his opinion, due to the fact that America did not have the means to respond to a possible attack on the country with the use of atomic (nuclear) weapons of small capacity. That is, to respond to a potential attack using the warheads of great power, created during the cold war, unsustainable and unacceptable for political reasons - because of unacceptable damage to be inflicted on them in the area of their application. At the same time, the existing Arsenal of nuclear forces of the United States is not, as suggested by the General deterrent for the "small modes" (literal translation), in contrast to the situation that took place in the confrontation between the USSR and the USA. The General claims. that the retaliation of the powerful boepripasami and warheads in
this case would mean a nuclear attack, and the response of conventional ammunition does not carry the potential for deterrence of the enemy.

Vehicle warheads low power or adjustable within a wide power range is proposed and Intercontinental ballistic missiles, which was reflected in the recommendations of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of defense (Defense Science Board). However, in relation to this, at the request of the General, the decision is still pending.

Overall, the stance is that the military want to have that kind of ammunition and gear head parts for all types of media to ensure, as stated, flexibility in making decisions about the use of nuclear weapons.

There is the question of the probable enemy, which the General says. As such, countries that represent now or may represent in the future a nuclear threat to the United States, he calls Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. The first two are unlikely to be fit for the role of enemy that represents a limited threat just because of the presence of a significant Arsenal of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery. Another thing - the countries or entities (territories, non-state actors) that threaten US interests, but have a very limited but considerable military resources, and the possibility of suppressing the resistance which by means of conventional weapons is questionable. You can also assume that the United States allow for the possibility of gaining such actors weapons of mass destruction, including, probably, not excluding nuclear.

We also recall that in the Arsenal of the U.S. thermonuclear bombs of the B61 series, in its modification Mod 11 adopted in service since 1997, has pre-installed before applying the different power of the explosion, and is designed to defeat heavily protected objects. Option Mod 12 LEP (Life Extension Program), the delivery of which is expected to begin in 2020, will have equipment similar to the installed on a conventional guided bombs (contractor - Boeing; the previous series was the B61 free-fall bombs). Note, abstracting from other considerations that technically the delivery of such bombs to targets on the territory of Russia, and in the short term and China, because of the quality and quantity of air defense systems to these countries, problematic. But the problem of delivery shall not stand before US forces so acute in relation to potential conflicts with other countries or actors, which the US considers threats to its security.

Thus, promoted the idea of creating nuclear weapons and warheads small and reguliruemoe power looks like a "nuclearization" of precision weapons, the U.S. massively used in local conflicts for a long period of time, to enable more efficient, assured destruction Silesian objects (the options are the underground factories and facilities of Iran, tunnel communications, underground bases, fortifications, including in the mountains) enemy is not capable after exposure to retaliate significant damage to the United States.

As the General said, the future of nuclear deterrence lies at least partly in nuclear weapons less power that the US could really apply in practice.

This idea has its opponents in the United States, in particular Senator from California, Democrat D. Feinstein. However, as the Senator said, "I have no doubt that the proposal for the development of such weapons is the first step towards its creation."

Review is a Supplement to the statement 07.08.2017 on this issue on Radio Sputnik (MIA "Russia today").

Oleg Ponomarenko

Tags: strategy , USA , AME

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