“Usable” Nuke Now Deployed on U.S. Submarine

The U.S.S. Tennessee at sea. The Tennessee is believed to have deployed on an operational patrol in late 2019, the first U.S. submarine to deploy with new low-yield W76-2 warhead. (Photo: Gonzalo Alonso/Flickr/cc)

In a post last month, I discussed an article by William Arkin published by Newsweek about how “usable” or “low yield” tactical nuclear warheads were being manufactured pursuant to legislation allowing it. The Federation of American Scientists has now learned that the first “usable” nuke has been deployed onto to a U.S. submarine patrolling the Atlantic ocean. Common Dreams reported the following:

The low-yield Trident nuclear warhead was commissioned in 2018 by President Donald Trump.

The warhead has an explosive yield of five kilotons, about a third of the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945, which killed 80,000 people instantly and tens of thousands later from radiation exposure.

Compared to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, the effect of the W76-2 “would be very beneficial to a military officer who was going to advise to the president whether we should cross the nuclear threshold,” according to Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at FAS, which learned about the recent deployment from government briefings…

…According to Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the U.S. government claims the Trident is a deterrent against Russia….

…While Russia’s nuclear threat level is questionable, Trump has said he may direct the use of nuclear weapons to respond to “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks” on the U.S., its allies, or “infrastructure.”

2 thoughts on ““Usable” Nuke Now Deployed on U.S. Submarine”

  1. “…would be very beneficial to a military officer who was going to advise to the president whether we should cross the nuclear threshold,…”

    Crossing the threshold almost brings to mind the excitement and joy of the groom carrying his bride into their new digs. How sweet thy euphemism!

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