In the recently published 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the United States lays bare its intention to further enhance what is already the world's most powerful nuclear deterrent.
In an about-face from the 2010 NPR, which vowed to reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons, the new document seeks to modernize the country's nuclear arsenal and develop new low-yield atomic weapons.
It claims that the strategy is aimed at protecting U.S. national security. But more likely, it will not work to this effect. More worryingly, it might give rise to similar ambitions worldwide.
Washington remains the world's top nuclear power with no possible parallel on the surface of the Earth. Yet the Pentagon still attempts to hype up external nuclear threats against the country in a bid to justify its pursuit of a more powerful nuclear stockpile. The argument laid out in the NPR is far from being convincing.
It is also rather fallacious as Washington claims it tries to reduce so-called nuclear risks by upgrading its nuclear weaponry.
If a nuclear power as strong as the United States still feels like wanting a bigger gun, would that mean other countries have even greater justification to do the same?
The truth is that Washington's intention to expand its nuclear strike capability and broaden the use of nuclear weapons will only make other countries feel more threatened. Some of them are very likely to follow suit.
As a result, the world's nuclear non-proliferation regime is going to face more major challenges, and the possibility of a global nuclear arms race would increase.
Meanwhile, the NPR is a flagrant display of Cold War mentality. In the review, Washington tags Moscow and Beijing as main factors that have posed "challenges" to Washington and contribute to "a more diverse and advanced nuclear-threat environment."
Such accusations are groundless. China has adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons under all circumstances. It has also pledged not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones.
China has always exercised the utmost restraint in the development of nuclear weapons and limited its nuclear capabilities to the minimum level required for national security.
By ringing a false nuclear alarm in the review, Washington is merely trying to find excuses to seek absolute nuclear supremacy.
Yet the Trump administration needs to understand that, instead of making itself safer, more nuclear weapons would only bring to it more security risks.
For decades, major countries have endeavored to reduce global nuclear stockpiles in hopes of forestalling a human catastrophe.
It is vital that, rather than undercut the efforts, Washington should stop backtracking on its nuclear policy, follow the trend of the times, and work with the rest of the international community to truly reduce the nuclear threat facing the humankind.
(Xinhua News Agency February 6, 2018)