Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Latest news
Main » Nuclear weapons' cyber attack risk relatively high, says report

Nuclear weapons' cyber attack risk relatively high, says report

14 January 2018

It comes during a state of heightened nuclear tension following heated rhetoric between the USA and North Korea as well as greater Russian military activity and a build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe.

"That strikes me as being unsustainable from a naval strategy point of view".

A version of the Nuclear Posture Review obtained by the Huffington Post shows that beyond the planned replacement of USA nuclear capabilities, the President and his advisers want "supplemental" attack methods.

Now it appears that a new, Pentagon-led Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) will seek to formally shift US nuclear strategy to align with Trump's more aggressive nuclear notions. It specifically points to a Russian doctrine known as "escalate to de-escalate", in which Moscow would use or threaten to use smaller-yield nuclear weapons in a limited, conventional conflict in Europe in the belief that doing so would compel the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to back down.

The new weapons could add additional costs to what already promised to be a very expensive bill to modernize the nuclear arsenal, most of which is decades old.

It says the USA will adhere to existing arms control agreements, while expressing doubt about prospects for any new such pacts.

In October, NBC reported President Trump had gathered high ranking national security leaders and told them "he wanted ... a almost tenfold increase in the United States nuclear arsenal".

He also cautioned against moves to broaden the circumstances in which nuclear weapons would be used. This means that the US could launch a nuclear attack in response to, for example, a large-scale hacking attempt on the country's financial markets.

Tesco Ireland sees sales rise over Christmas
Though the group was up against a much tougher comparison from a year earlier, when clothing sales rose by an impressive 2.3%. Over the wider 19 week period to 6 January 2018 - which includes Tesco's third quarter - United Kingdom sales rose 2.2%.

Trump's rhetoric towards North Korea of its nuclear weapons program has the group particularly anxious, noting his "nuclear button" tweet and his "fire and fury" threat last summer.

Malicious programs to sabotage or damage the deterrent could also be secretly hidden in nuclear systems when new parts are being designed and made.

Hans Kristensen, director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists, agreed that there was no coherent argument for developing new weapons.

"Threatening nuclear attack to counter "asymmetric" non-nuclear threats is unnecessary, increases risk of nuclear war, makes it easier for other nuclear-armed countries to justify excessive roles for nuclear weapons in their own policies", he wrote.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2018.

It follows a similar letter calling for restrictions on the nuclear chain of command written while Trump was on the campaign trail.

Authors of the Trump nuclear doctrine argue that adding new USA nuclear capabilities to deter Russian Federation in Europe will lessen, not increase, the risk of war. But Mr. Trump has so shaken this orthodoxy that Congress has begun debating limits on his unilateral authority to launch nuclear weapons.

Potential weaknesses include rudimentary components, the report said. Instead, the goal is to make nuclear conflict less likely by ensuring that "potential adversaries" see no possible advantage in escalating a conventional conflict to the nuclear level.

Nuclear weapons' cyber attack risk relatively high, says report