Under the new nuclear policy released by the US government of Tuesday, Washington intends to produce a new missile that will be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead from the sea. This plan is to exert direct pressure on the nuclear forces from Moscow. However, foreign policy experts have said that the plan may be a decoy of a bigger diplomatic move to bring Kremlin in line with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that already exists in Eastern Europe. The US Defense Secretary is optimistic that the new nuclear policy will do the job just fine. This idea was given by the strategic stability on the Joint staff deputy director, Greg weaver during an interview on Feb 1 with reporters.
Mr. Weaver said that the move was meant to pressure Moscow to return to arms control measures that verifiable internationally to solve the imbalance that currently exists with nuclear forces that are non-strategic. He added that the nuclear posture review was in response to the expansion of Russian capability, doctrine, and strategy. Washington is not engaging in another arms race but responding to an initiative that had been taken by the Kremlin. Secretary Mattis seemed to buy that idea when he said that he had committed to ensuring that American negotiators had a bargaining chip and that the US wanted Moscow back in compliance.
Mattis was speaking at a hearing of the Armed Services Committee in Congress. The Defense Secretary added that the US government was not interested in preceding the INF Treaty but also wanted to have options if Moscow continued to go down the same path of not following laid down procedures. The idea of the Nuclear Posture review was to have American negotiators start from the point of strength and have something to bargain with. Mr. Mattis said that it was not possible that any party can willingly go to the negotiating table when they want to win something or nothing.
He insisted that Moscow will never be willing to give up any of their incentives if they got nothing in return from Washington regarding reductions. Secretary Mattis was however hesitant to comment when he was asked to explain whether the Pentagon would stop the SLCM development if Moscow returned to compliance with the Treaty. The Obama administration had tried to convince Putin to comply with the treaty but to no avail.