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Mattis: Plans for new U.S. nuclear weapon could be bargaining chip with Russia

2018-02-07 09:59:42       source:The Washington Post

February 6, 2018

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis offered a justification for the Pentagon’s amped-up nuclear weapons policy, saying that at least one of two new nuclear arms the U.S. military wants to introduce could be used as a bargaining chip with the Russians. 

Mattis, who testified Tuesday before the House Armed Services Committee, entered the Pentagon last year with questions about the military’s plans to overhaul the nuclear arsenal. He wondered whether the United States needed to retain its Cold War-era intercontinental ballistic missile silos or approve a new air-launched cruise missile. 

But after nearly a year of analysis and consultations with military commanders and outside experts, Mattis endorsed the modernization in full — and even agreed to augment the plans. 

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