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DoD Unveils Nuclear Posture Review; Patrick Shanahan Comments

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has said the Nuclear Posture Review is a “tailored nuclear deterrent strategy” that seeks to respond to current security needs and aims to reflect the country’s commitment to arms control and nonproliferation, DoD News reported Friday.

The NPR says the U.S. would only consider the deployment of nuclear weapons in the event of “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks” and other “extreme circumstances,” Shanahan said at a Pentagon press briefing with Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and Thomas Shannon, undersecretary for political affairs at the State Department.

The document seeks to modernize the command-and-control system and the nuclear triad’s components that include submarine-launched ballistic missiles, ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear-based aircraft.

The U.S. has begun the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent program that seeks to replace Minuteman III missiles by 2029 and update 450 ICBM launch facilities to support the deployment of 400 ICBMs, according to the review.

The country has started an initiative to build and field the B-21 Raider bomber aircraft by mid-2020s as a replacement for the U.S. military’s B-2A Spirit and B-52H Stratofortress bombers.

The document also states the U.S. government’s plan to deploy 12 Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines to replace the fleet of 14 Ohio-class submarines.

The NPR’s release came two weeks after the Defense Department unveiled the National Defense Strategy and nearly two months after the Trump administration issued the National Security Strategy.

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