Washington admits the use of nuclear mini-warheads in conventional wars. This is the main message of the New Nuclear Doctrine of the United States, which the Pentagon unveiled last week.
Commenting on the doctrine, Donald Trump said that the United Sates must modernize and re-build its nuclear arsenal. "As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else," Trump said in his State of the Union speech.
Experts are concerned that the Trump administration abandons the postulate that nuclear weapons should not be used in conventional wars. However, the US administration has been increasing spending to modernize nuclear forces and develop elements of the "nuclear triad" (intercontinental missiles, strategic submarines and bombers).
To justify the new nuclear doctrine, US officials claim that Moscow allegedly announced its readiness to strike a preemptive nuclear blow in the course of a war with the use of conventional weapons.
However, the head of the State Duma Committee on Defence, Vladimir Shamanov, rejects such an assumption. "Russian executive documents do not provide for a possibility of a preemptive nuclear strike," he said. "This is blame shifting. A month ago, the US military asked the Senate for permission to be the first to apply a preventive nuclear blow. Russian executive documents have never envisaged such a possibility," the official added.
"One should not underestimate the significance of the new US nuclear doctrine, because this document means a turn from the course to reduce nuclear weapons, which the US was adhering to for the past 30 years," Alexei Arbatov, chairman of the Center for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations said.