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Wed Sep 13, 2017, 06:17 PM

Mattis says he is now convinced that the Pentagon must keep three ways of launching a nuclear attack

Source: Washington Post

Mattis says he is now convinced that the Pentagon must keep three ways of launching a nuclear attack

By Dan Lamothe September 13 at 6:31 PM

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that he is now “convinced” that the Pentagon must maintain three ways to launch a nuclear attack, but that he could make cuts to specific kinds of weapons in the future.

The comments came amid an ongoing review of the U.S. nuclear weapons program, and as tensions with North Korea remain high as that regime works toward developing a nuclear missile of its own. For decades, the U.S. military has been able to deliver nuclear weapons by Navy submarine, Air Force bombers and Air Force intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), a system known as the triad and due for hundreds of billions of dollars in upgrades in coming years.

“If I want to send the most compelling message, I have been persuaded that is the triad, and its framework is the right way to go,” Mattis said, speaking on a military aircraft traveling from Washington.

Before becoming Trump’s defense secretary, Mattis questioned the need to keep all three “legs” of the triad. As a retired general, he testified as a national security expert before the Senate Armed Services Committee in January 2015 that the United States must clearly establish the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. policy, and that it was time to look at whether “to reduce the triad to a dyad.” Doing so, he said then, could reduce “false alarm danger” in which a nuclear war is set off by mistake.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/09/13/mattis-says-he-is-now-convinced-that-the-pentagon-must-keep-three-ways-of-launching-a-nuclear-attack/

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