THE PENTAGON is set to unveil President Donald Trump's nuclear policy next week, and critics are already warning-

It could trigger another arms race and raise the risk of miscalculations that might spark an atomic conflict.

A leaked draft version of the Nuclear Posture Review indicates the Pentagon is calling for the development of a new type of  low-yield nuclear bomb that is designed to be used on the battlefield rather than to level a city.

These so called  nuclear conventional weapons have a limited explosive strength -though still are staggeringly powerful that adversaries don't believe they would ever be used.

The draft policy says Russia's own low-yield nukes, within easy striking distance of Europe, provide   ''a coercive advantage in crisis and at lower levels of conflict.''

''Correcting this mistaken Russian perception is a strategic imperative,'' the document states. An weapon with an explosive bast 20 kilotons or less is considered low-yield.

To put that in perspective, one kiloton is the same as 1,000 tons of TNT; the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WW II were about 20 kilotons respectively, so they would be considered low-yield today.

But America already has a massive nuclear arsenal at its disposal, including 150 B-61 nukes stored across multiple European countries that can be configured for low-yield options.

Hans Kristensen, director of the information project at the Federation of American Scientists, said  US military strategy does not need a new type of weapon.

''If you really want to use weapons in a limited low-yield scenario, they are there. You don't have to have another one,'' he told AFP.     


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