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US Plans to Boost Tactical Nuclear Arsenal in Response to Russia, China Threats

Tactical Nuclear Arsenal

The United States may need to deploy additional strategic nuclear weapons in the future to counter increasing threats from Russia, China, and other adversaries, according to a senior White House official.

Pranay Vaddi, the top National Security Council arms control official, addressed this issue in a speech on Friday, where he discussed the need for “a more competitive approach” to arms control.

Vaddi outlined a significant policy shift aimed at encouraging Moscow and Beijing to reconsider their rejections of the United States’ proposals for talks on limiting nuclear arsenals.

“Absent a change in adversary arsenals, we may reach a point in the coming years where an increase from current deployed numbers is required. We need to be fully prepared to execute if the president makes that decision,” he stated during his address to the Arms Control Association.

He emphasized that if this situation arises, it would signify that more nuclear weapons are essential to deter adversaries and protect the American people, as well as allies and partners.

Currently, the United States adheres to a limit of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, as outlined in the 2010 New START treaty with Russia.

However, Moscow suspended its participation in the treaty last year in response to U.S. support for Ukraine, a move that Washington has deemed “legally invalid.”

Vaddi’s comments come a year after National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan assured the same group that there was no need to increase U.S. strategic nuclear arms deployments in response to the arsenals of Russia and China. Sullivan had also offered to engage in talks “without preconditions.”

Despite the new competitive stance, Vaddi reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to international arms control and non-proliferation regimes established to limit the spread of nuclear weapons.

However, he highlighted that Russia, China, and North Korea are expanding and diversifying their nuclear arsenals at an alarming rate, showing little to no interest in arms control.

These nations, along with Iran, are increasingly cooperating and coordinating in ways that threaten the peace and stability of the United States, its allies, and partners, and exacerbate regional tensions, Vaddi explained.

He cited examples of this cooperation, such as the sharing of advanced missile and drone technology among these countries.

Specifically, he mentioned Moscow’s use of Iranian drones and North Korean artillery and missiles in Ukraine, as well as Chinese support for Russia’s defense industries.

Vaddi’s statements reflect a growing concern within the U.S. administration about the rapid advancements and collaborations in nuclear and military capabilities among these adversarial nations.

This evolving geopolitical landscape necessitates a reevaluation of the United States’ nuclear strategy to ensure it remains capable of deterring threats and maintaining global stability.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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