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U.S. deployment of low yield nuclear warheads, a Pandoras box easier to open?

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 U.S. deployment of low yield nuclear warheads, a Pandoras box easier to open?


Can low yield nuclear weapons cause miscarriage of justice?

The issue of miscalculation cannot be measured by the equivalent of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons and non nuclear weapons, regardless of their equivalence, as long as they are nuclear weapons, once they are used, it marks the actual use of nuclear weapons by a country. If the country hit by low equivalent nuclear weapons is also a country with nuclear weapons, the country hit is bound to implement nuclear retaliation in accordance with its own nuclear strategy. Take Russia as an example. In March 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned in his state of the Union address that Russia plans to equip a number of strategic weapons in the future. When talking about the nuclear report reply, Putin said that Russia will make a nuclear counterattack against any form of nuclear attack. That is to say, if the low equivalent nuclear weapons of the United States are actually used to Russia, it will inevitably lead to Russias nuclear retaliation, and the nuclear conflict between the United States and Russia and its consequences are unimaginable. If we want to reduce the misjudgment of nuclear weapons, there are two more appropriate ways. One is to directly cut off the willingness of opponents to use nuclear weapons; the other is to increase transparency.

In the first way, the key to cutting off the opponents willingness to use nuclear weapons is to let the opponent feel that his first wave of attack cannot completely disarm the nuclear weapons of the attacked country. In order to achieve this goal, a country can strengthen the concealment of its own nuclear weapons, improve its viability, increase the number and other ways to ensure that its nuclear arsenal still has enough for nuclear retaliation after the first wave of attack by the opponent. Another way is to change the alert level of nuclear weapons. Early warning based launch can effectively reduce the opponents willingness to use nuclear weapons. A reliable and effective early warning system for strategic missiles should be built for countries with nuclear weapons based on early warning launch, such as the United States space-based infrared monitoring system, ground-based strategic early warning radar, etc. These systems can detect and track long-range ballistic missiles launched by adversaries. When it is determined that the opponent will launch a nuclear missile to his own side, before the nuclear counterattack force, population and industrial targets of his country have been destroyed, that is, before the missiles we commonly understand have landed, he will launch his own nuclear missiles to fight back.

The Ohio class ballistic missile nuclear submarine can carry 24 trident-2 D5 missiles.

Some comments mentioned that low equivalent nuclear weapons would increase miscalculation, because the opponents could not distinguish whether the missiles launched carried strategic nuclear weapons or low equivalent nuclear weapons. By the way of early warning launch, we can directly convey to the opponent that no matter what kind of nuclear warhead you are carrying, as long as the missile lifts off, we will fight back. This kind of nuclear counterattack mode can be said to cut off the opponents intention to use whatever kind of nuclear weapons to strike. Therefore, the mode based on the expected launch can offset the intentional launch behavior of the adversary, that is to say, there is no misjudgment on whether the adversary uses low equivalent nuclear weapons or strategic nuclear weapons when launching based on the early warning.

However, based on the expectation that the launch of our strategic missile requires a high level of readiness, which will bring huge risks. If the early warning system sends wrong messages, the countrys top leadership will face great pressure on whether to make a decision on nuclear counterattack quickly. Taking the trans Pacific as an example, it will take 20 to 30 minutes for the intercontinental ballistic missile launched by the United States to take off from the mainland and reach East Asia; it will take about 15 minutes for the submarine launched from the Pacific to reach East Asia, and it will take less time if the strategic missile nuclear submarine moves closer. There is no guarantee that leaders will not make wrong decisions under such pressure if the early warning system sends out wrong signals. Therefore, compared with high-level nuclear weapons, a more stable way is to strengthen the viability of their own nuclear arsenals, enhance the effectiveness of nuclear retaliation, and deter the opponent from any unreasonable thought.

Another way is to increase transparency. This requires a country to make appropriate disclosure of the purpose and technical performance of each missile. Taking the United States as an example, the land-based intercontinental ballistic missile of minuteman-3 (lgm-30g) in active service in the United States can definitely carry nuclear warheads; the sea based Trident series missiles are also used as strategic strikes. Although trident can carry low equivalent nuclear warheads, it is still positioned for nuclear operations. Therefore, it is a way to reduce misjudgment by making the technical performance of weapons public and clearly indicating which missile weapons are used for nuclear operations. Countries can make judgments on nuclear operations or non nuclear operations according to the missile models of the other party.

No matter how much equivalent, the use of nuclear weapons marks the crossing of the nuclear threshold.

With the development of weapon technology, the projection platforms of nuclear weapons are becoming more and more diverse. The boundary between nuclear and non nuclear operations is no longer obvious for more and more weapon platforms. For example, the AGM-86 air launched cruise missile used by the U.S. air force can carry a nuclear warhead. Although increasing transparency can reduce misjudgment, at the overall operational level, it is believed that no country will disclose its weapons related technical capabilities to a large extent. In addition, at the level of nuclear strategy, it is one of the means to improve deterrence effectiveness to increase fuzziness appropriately and make the opponent unable to understand their real strength.

In general, it is of no practical significance to discriminate between low equivalent nuclear weapons and strategic nuclear weapons according to the magnitude of equivalent. No matter how much equivalent, the use of nuclear weapons marks a step beyond the nuclear threshold. Since the threshold is actually crossed, it is unnecessary to misjudge whether a low equivalent warhead or a large equivalent strategic warhead, because it is likely to lead to a strategic level nuclear strike. It is difficult to achieve rational and controllable nuclear engagement. How to effectively raise the nuclear threshold and reduce the willingness to use nuclear weapons should be the direction of the international community and major powers.

The United States is developing a Colombia class ballistic missile nuclear submarine to replace the Ohio class.

From nuclear deterrence to nuclear practical confrontation

How the United States intends to use low yield nuclear weapons deserves attention. The trump administrations Nuclear Posture Review report proposed the idea of equipping the U.S. Navy with low equivalent nuclear weapons on its existing submarine launched ballistic missiles. The U.S. Defense Department describes the role of low yield nuclear weapons as a means to deal with the opponents low yield nuclear weapons or tactical nuclear weapons, especially mentioning that Russia may be considering a strategy, that is, the strategy of upgrading to promote degradation, the idea of which is that Russia will use tactical nuclear weapons when there is a conflict between the United States and Russia. After Russia uses tactical nuclear weapons, it will either force the United States to use the same tactical nuclear weapons to fight back, but this will probably lead to the escalation of the conflict; or in the face of the risk of escalation, the United States will give up the conflict.

Therefore, the purpose of developing low equivalent nuclear weapons in the United States is to deal with the so-called Russian low equivalent nuclear weapons, that is, to achieve a low equivalent, tactical level of nuclear confrontation. The United States considers using its own low equivalent nuclear weapons to stop Russias low equivalent nuclear weapons and to prevent Russia from starting a conflict. In fact, the United States has put itself in the position of Russia. The United States believes that Russia is developing the strategy of promoting degradation by upgrading, and then developing its ability to deal with the so-called Russian tactical nuclear weapons. At last, it turns around and finds that the United States has become a nuisance to itself and develops its own operational ability that its opponents want to develop.

In recent years, the U.S. Air Force has also attached great importance to the development of low yield nuclear weapons, as shown in the figure of b61-12 nuclear bomb.

(function() {(window. Slotbydup = window. Slotbydup| []). Push ({ID: u5811557, container: ssp_, async: true});)) (); the U.S. R & D and deployment of low equivalent nuclear weapons, the main purpose of which is to respond to the low amount of nuclear weapons or tactical nuclear weapons that the U The governments Nuclear Posture Review Report reflects the tailor-made strategy of different countries. It is reported that the Tennessee, carrying the w76-2 low yield nuclear warhead, has been deployed in the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the U.S. Navy, the long-range standoff cruise missile (lrso) that the U.S. Air Force plans to equip in the future also has the ability to carry on the nuclear warhead, especially the adjustable warhead power, which means that the U.S. Air Force will also have the ability to launch low yield nuclear weapons in the future. The U.S. naval and air force strategic forces continue to strengthen the ability to project low yield nuclear weapons, reflecting that the U.S. has been preparing for future tactical nuclear confrontation or even tactical nuclear engagement. If the United States conceives the adversarys strategy of nuclear operations at the tactical level, it can only reflect the idea of the United States itself. In the actual confrontation and engagement, once the nuclear weapons are used, it is unknown whether the adversary will go on according to the so-called flexible reflection of the United States. Low yield nuclear weapons are not terrible in themselves. What is really harmful to the world is that the United States spare no effort to improve its nuclear practical combat capability, formulate its nuclear operation plan, formulate its use strategy of low yield nuclear weapons, and imagine the capabilities of its opponents and the uncontrollable consequences. (the author is a postdoctoral student of the school of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, studying the direction of arms control and national security)

The main purpose of developing and deploying low equivalent nuclear weapons in the United States is to respond to the low equivalent nuclear weapons or tactical nuclear weapons that the United States considers the adversaries to develop. This is a flexible reflection strategy for flexibly adjusting their own capabilities in response to the adversaries capabilities. It is also the tailor-made strategy nuclear strategy for different countries in the trump governments Nuclear Posture Review Report Embodiment. It is reported that the Tennessee, carrying the w76-2 low yield nuclear warhead, has been deployed in the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the U.S. Navy, the long-range standoff cruise missile (lrso) that the U.S. Air Force plans to equip in the future also has the ability to carry on the nuclear warhead, especially the adjustable warhead power, which means that the U.S. Air Force will also have the ability to launch low yield nuclear weapons in the future. The U.S. naval and air force strategic forces continue to strengthen the ability to project low yield nuclear weapons, reflecting that the U.S. has been preparing for future tactical nuclear confrontation or even tactical nuclear engagement.

If the United States conceives the adversarys strategy of nuclear operations at the tactical level, it can only reflect the idea of the United States itself. In the actual confrontation and engagement, once the nuclear weapons are used, it is unknown whether the adversary will go on according to the so-called flexible reflection of the United States. Low yield nuclear weapons are not terrible in themselves. What is really harmful to the world is that the United States spare no effort to improve its nuclear practical combat capability, formulate its nuclear operation plan, formulate its use strategy of low yield nuclear weapons, and imagine the capabilities of its opponents and the uncontrollable consequences.

(the author is a postdoctoral of the school of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, studying the direction of arms control and national security)