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Cyber-attack risk on nuclear weapons systems 'relatively high' - thinktank

Cyber-attack risk on nuclear weapons systems 'relatively high' - thinktank

The document, set to be released in February, defends the low-yield weapon initiative to retaliate against the conception among potential adversaries that the USA nuclear arsenal is too lethal to ever be used.

As opposed to Obama, who sought to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. defence, it looks like the new administration is keen to turn up the heat.

President Donald Trump's Defense Department wants to expand American nuclear capabilities by adding "low-yield" weapons of the kind that decimated Nagasaki and Hiroshima to the United States arsenal, according to a draft Pentagon policy document obtained by.

The report comes as the US officials grow increasingly concerned that North Korea might use cyber attacks alongside conventional weapons.

It added: 'With the potential for such catastrophic consequences from a nuclear weapons detonation attack it is crucial to have the most robust nuclear policies in place'.

Writing for the website Arms Control Today website, Daryl Kimball, head of the Arms Control Association, said the administration was lapsing into "dangerous, Cold War thinking". But early indications suggest the new NPR will expand the contingencies that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. Since coming into office, President Donald Trump has quipped about expanding USA nuclear capacity and threatened North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

The Pentagon also calls for a new nuclear submarine-launched cruise missile, typically called a SLCM ("slick-em") in the military. "Solutions to these risks, therefore, should go beyond applying cyber security policies because, in this context, cyber risk reduction is actually about nuclear risk reduction".




Hans Kristensen, the director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists, said that justification for developing the new weapons was incoherent. "The gloves are off".

It intentionally lowers the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons by calling for the development of several new types of more "usable" nuclear weapons, including one that could be deployed on submarines in the near future.

"The Pentagon's underlying motivation", Blair said, "is fear of Russia's new option for striking US and Western European civilian infrastructure - financial, energy, transportation and communications - with cyber and conventional forces".

"In the final weeks of the presidential election, we sounded our alarm over Donald Trump's fitness to serve as commander-in-chief, with absolute authority over the nation's nuclear arsenal", the 17 former officers, now members of nuclear disarmament group Global Zero, wrote to Congress in an open letter Thursday.

Authors of the Trump nuclear doctrine argue that adding new US nuclear capabilities to deter Russian Federation in Europe will lessen, not increase, the risk of war.

There is no evidence Moscow has a policy of launching a tactical nuclear weapon against United States forces.

Their report warned: "The potential impacts of a cyberattack on nuclear weapons systems are enormous". Despite the nickname, the warheads would still likely pack a punch larger than the explosions that leveled the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.


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