2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review Released by Trump Administration

Human Wrongs Watch

By David Krieger and Rick Wayman* 

5 February 2018 – Nuclear Age Peace Foundation –  TRANSCEND Media Service  – The 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), released on 2 February 2018, represents a reckless realignment of an already dangerous U.S. nuclear policy.


Source of photo: ICAN – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

The review specifically calls for the development of new, low-yield nuclear weapons that have lower explosive force. Many experts warn that such smaller weapons would blur the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons, representing a significant and dangerous increase in the likelihood of their use.

Rick Wayman, Director of Programs at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, stated, “Once nuclear weapons – of any size – are introduced into an armed conflict, no one can guarantee that the cycle of escalation would end.

The terrifying reality is that nuclear weapons can end human civilization as we know it. Every person on the planet should be outraged that the Trump administration threatens their future in this way.”

In another important policy shift, the Trump Nuclear Posture Review would permit the U.S. to use nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of non-nuclear attacks on the United States, including cyber attacks and attacks on American infrastructure. The review seeks to deter nuclear war by making it easier to start nuclear war.


Trump administration plan calls for smaller nuclear weapons making nuclear war far more likely.


Last year, the price tag for a 30-year makeover of the U.S. nuclear arsenal was estimated at $1.2 trillion. Analysts say the expanded plan put forth in the Trump NPR review would push the cost vastly higher.

Just last week, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight. This is thirty seconds closer to the metaphorical “point of annihilation” and is the closest to midnight the clock has been since the end of the Cold War. Clearly The Trump Doctrine is equivalent to winding the Doomsday Clock in the wrong direction.

The review does not contain a single reference to Article VI of the U.N. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which obligates the U.S. and the other nuclear-armed nations signatories to the treaty to negotiate in good faith for nuclear disarmament.

This posture review signals such a radical and dangerous shift in U.S. nuclear policy direction NATO states will be forced to re-evaluate their positions to not automatically accept and support the U.S. in this changed nuclear policy.

World leaders now face a clear choice: support the Trump Doctrine and lock the world into a likely nuclear war, or join the rational world in moving towards the elimination of all nuclear weapons. The world’s international security framework must not rely on nuclear weapons.

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation said, “The prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons is the only rational choice. World leaders must now take the right step and sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that opened for signatures at the United Nations on September 20, 2017.

By doing so, they would lead the world away from almost certain annihilation and toward the worthy goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and creating a safer and more secure world for all of humanity.”


Rick Wayman (805) 696-5159; rwayman@napf.org

Sandy Jones (805) 965-3443; sjones@napf.org

If you would like to interview David Krieger or Rick Wayman, please call (805) 696-5159.


*David Krieger is founder and president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment.

Amongst several of his wide-spanning leadership endeavors in global peacebuilding, he is a founder and a member of the Global Council of Abolition 2000, councilor on the World Future Council, and is the chair of the Executive Committee of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility.

Dr. Krieger is the author of many books and studies of peace in the Nuclear Age. He has written or edited more than 20 books and hundreds of articles and book chapters. He is a recipient of several awards and honors, including the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Peace Writing Award for Poetry (2010). He has a new collection of poems entitled Wake Up. 

For more visit the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation website: www.wagingpeace.org.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. Founded in 1982, the Foundation is comprised of individuals and organizations worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations. For more information, visit www.wagingpeace.org.

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 5 Feb 2018:  TMS: 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review Released by Trump Administration

2018 Human Wrongs Watch

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