This is insane..... ---------------------------------------------------------- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/09/trump-reviews-mini-nuke-242513 Trump review leans toward proposing mini-nuke The Trump administration is considering proposing smaller, more tactical nuclear weapons that would cause less damage than traditional thermonuclear bombs — a move that would give military commanders more options but could also make the use of atomic arms more likely. A high-level panel created by President Donald Trump to evaluate the nuclear arsenal is reviewing various options for adding a more modern "low-yield" bomb, according to sources involved in the review, to further deter Russia, North Korea or other potential nuclear adversaries. Approval of such weapons — whether designed to be delivered by missile, aircraft or special forces — would mark a major reversal from the Obama administration, which sought to limit reliance on nuclear arms and prohibited any new weapons or military capabilities. And critics say it would only make the actual use of atomic arms more likely. The push is also almost sure to reignite concerns on the part of some lawmakers who say they already don’t trust Trump with the nuclear codes and believe he has dangerously elevated their prominence in U.S. national security by publicly dismissing arms control treaties and talking opening about unleashing "fire and fury" on North Korea. "If the U.S. moves now to develop a new nuclear weapon, it will send exactly the wrong signal at a time when international efforts to discourage the spread of nuclear weapons are under severe challenge," said Steven Andreasen, a State Department official in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The details of what is being considered are classified, and a National Security Council spokeswoman said "it is too early to discuss" the panel's deliberations, which are expected to wrap up by the end of the year. Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a foundation that advocates reducing nuclear arms, also took issue with the argument for more nuclear options. "It is difficult to imagine the circumstances under which we would need a military option in between our formidable conventional capabilities and our current low-yield nuclear weapons capabilities," added Alexandra Bell, a former State Department arms control official. "Lawmakers should be very wary of any attempt to reduce the threshold for nuclear use. There is no such thing as a minor nuclear war." In Cirincione's view, the idea is fueled by economic, not security reasons. "This is nuclear pork disguised as nuclear strategy," he said. "This is a jobs program for a few government labs and a few contractors. This is an insane proposal. It would lower the threshold for nuclear use. It would make nuclear war more likely. It comes from the illusion that you could use a nuclear weapon and end a conflict on favorable terms. Once you cross the nuclear threshold, you are inviting a nuclear response." But others involved in the deliberations contend that if the administration seeks funding for a new tactical nuke, it might get a far more receptive audience in Congress. Already Republicans are pushing to build a new cruise missile that some say would violate the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia — a direct response to Moscow's violations of the arms control pact. The Senate is expected to debate the issue next week when it takes up the defense policy bill, which includes a controversial provision similar to one already passed by the House.