By Brenna Sullivan
Following an order from President Trump, the U.S. Department of Defense has been hard at work extensively reviewing the U.S’s nuclear policy. Under normal circumstances, an oversight and review of accountability like this should bring a sense of relief and security to the American people. However, upon the release of leaked text from the review, American and international citizens alike should be wary of the changes made to these policies.
It appears that the Trump administration has intentions to both develop new nuclear weapons and broaden the circumstances in which these weapons can be used. During the last review of these policies in 2010, it was declared that nuclear weapons could not be used against those countries who were a part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The current review however looks to amend this to allow for the use of nuclear weapons in response to non-nuclear attacks that result in mass casualties or attacks that target “critical infrastructure or nuclear command and control sites”. Once again, this administration continues the use of loosely defined language which could lead to a justification on their part to use nuclear weapons in any situation.
The instituting of this particular guideline, along with the U.S’s desire to produce more “low-yield” nuclear weapons is a guise that will only lead to greater resistance of lessening weapon stockpiles from other nuclear states and the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons for non-nuclear states. By manufacturing more weapons, lower grade or not, the Trump Administration once again positions its own ego over the ideals of international doctrine (NPT) and peaceful diplomacy. When will our “President” learn that physical manpower and assertion of authority does not equate to respect but rather to embarrassing displays of disregard for humanity?