Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that US and NATO policies are bringing the world closer to nuclear war, and that the US is deliberately lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons and intentionally increasing the risk of nuclear conflict.
Closely related disinformation narratives claim that the US nuclear weapons doctrine adopted in 2018 is “sheer lunacy” and that the new US nuclear strategy is based on the principle of a “nuclear first strike” and has abandoned the principle of deterrence
No evidence is provided that the US considers nuclear war a “feasible political option”, that it is lowering the threshold for nuclear weapons use, or that it is “creating the conditions” for a nuclear conflict to take place.
The current US nuclear strategy is detailed in the Nuclear Posture Review [NPR], issued by the Department of Defence in February 2018. This states that the US would consider the use of nuclear weapons only under “extreme circumstances” to defend the vital interests of the US, its allies and partners. It defines “extreme circumstances,” as both nuclear attacks and “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks” against “U.S., allied or partner civilian populations or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities”.
The NPR also stresses that deterrence continues to be the central principle of US strategy: it states that “the highest US nuclear policy and strategy priority is to deter potential adversaries from nuclear attack of any scale”, and that US nuclear forces play a critical role in “deterring nuclear and non-nuclear attack”.
Read a previous case claiming that NATO no longer considers the use of nuclear weapons as an extreme measure.