WASHINGTON — The Latest on the Trump administration’s nuclear strategy (all times local):
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the administration’s new nuclear strategy pays the right amount of attention to arms control, even as it focuses on strengthening the nuclear force.
In testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Mattis made his first public comments on the new strategy, a summary of which was made public last Friday.
Mattis said he recently received a letter from senators expressing concern that the strategy would undermine traditional U.S. leadership on reducing and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons.
He said the strategy does just the opposite: it will strengthen deterrence of a nuclear attack, and thereby provide the security that would enable further progress on arms control.
America’s new nuclear strategy under President Donald Trump is ending an Obama-era push to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. defense policy.
The new U.S. posture focuses heavily on what the Trump administration sees as an overdue modernization of the nuclear arsenal. And, it puts less emphasis on arms control as a central part of the U.S. approach.
That diminution of arms control was expected to be discussed Tuesday at a House hearing featuring Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.