Late Thursday evening, the Huffington Post published a draft of the Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, a 64-page document outlining the Department of Defense’s strategy for developing and maintaining its nuclear stockpile. Its contents are a marked difference from the Obama administration’s 2010 NPR, which expressed a desire to achieve total nuclear disarmament.
The Trump administration’s NPR “call[s] for the development of new, so-called low-yield nuclear weapons — warheads with a lower explosive force,” HuffPo reports, as well as claims that those weapons are necessary to “enhance deterrence” and combat the nuclear threat posed by Russia. The report goes on to cite the nuclear production capabilities of China, North Korea, and Iran as potential threats to the U.S.
“Global threat conditions have worsened markedly since the most recent 2010 NPR, including increasingly explicit nuclear threats from potential adversaries,” the draft states. “The United States now faces a more diverse and advanced nuclear-threat environment than ever before, with considerable dynamism in potential adversaries’ development and deployment programs for nuclear weapons and delivery systems.”
The final version of the Defense Department’s NPR is scheduled for release on Friday; while the DoD declined to comment on the contents of the draft obtained by HuffPo, it did not deny its legitimacy.