President Donald Trump stops to answer a reporter's question after greeting military personnel during a visit to the Pentagon on July 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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With Russia in mind, the Trump administration is aiming to develop new nuclear firepower that it says will make it easier to deter threats to European allies.The proposal is spelled out in a policy document, known officially as a "nuclear posture review," that puts the U.S. in a generally more aggressive nuclear stance.The Trump administration views the North Korean threats, along with what it sees as provocative nuclear rhetoric from Russia, as evidence that security conditions no longer support the idea that the U.S. can rely less on nuclear weapons or further limit their role in national defense.Bruce Blair, a former nuclear missile launch officer who co-founded Global Zero, which advocates the elimination of nuclear weapons, called the report "basically a status quo document" except for the plan to develop new nuclear options for countering Russia.Authors of the Trump nuclear doctrine argue that adding new U.S. nuclear capabilities to deter Russia in Europe will lessen, not increase, the risk of war. They worry the nuclear-capable aircraft that are currently the only Europe-based nuclear force to counter Russia have become less credible, in part because they may be vulnerable to Russian air defenses.
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