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house Bill H.R. 1086

Should the U.S. Stop Developing a Low-Yield Nuclear Warhead?

Argument in favor

Low-yield nuclear weapons are unnecessary given what’s already in the U.S. arsenal. They also carry the risk of dragging the U.S. into a nuclear war, and are expensive to develop and maintain.

IllWill's Opinion
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03/30/2019
Nuclear weapons need to be eradicated from the Earth. We should be working to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, not developing more of our own! If we actually care about the planet and the people on it, this is the opposite of what we should be doing.
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Kathi13's Opinion
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03/30/2019
I grew up during the so-called Cold War when we lived daily with the threat of nuclear attack. I don’t want to go back.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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03/30/2019
Escalate to deescalate cracks me up! Makes about as much sense as get fat to become skinny. It’s time to stop spending a dime on nuclear weapons. our goal should be peace. There’s enough out there to blow us up 50 or 60 times already but we will find a more creative way to kill ourselves in a short period of time. Pesticides, pollution, fossil fuel, climate change. Why waste money on nuclear weapons?
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Argument opposed

The U.S. needs low-yield nuclear weapons to deter adversaries, especially Russia. These weapons are part of an “escalate to deescalate” strategy that’d avoid all-out nuclear war.

Gopin2018's Opinion
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03/30/2019
In the event of a Third World War low yielding weapons are crucial. They were developing for the large swarm tank attacks which the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries used. They are still critical today especially with China now being our main enemy. #MAGA
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Jarsh's Opinion
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03/30/2019
Referring to Pentagon Strategy: The idea is that Russia — which retains a vast arsenal of small and nimble nuclear arms — could employ one against an American ally or partner in a “limited attack.” That would force the United States to choose between responding with a high-yield strategic nuclear warhead, all but guaranteeing full-scale nuclear war, or returning fire with a conventional weapon, risking embarrassment or defeat. -Paul Sonne Washington Post
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Cherie65's Opinion
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04/01/2019
If anyone thinks other countries are not developing or haven't developed a similar weapon already, then you need your head checked. These countries don't know how to play nice. Nothing else works except peace through strength. Read. Your. History!
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Armed Services
      Strategic Forces
    IntroducedFebruary 7th, 2019
    Nuclear weapons need to be eradicated from the Earth. We should be working to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, not developing more of our own! If we actually care about the planet and the people on it, this is the opposite of what we should be doing.
    Like (109)
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    In the event of a Third World War low yielding weapons are crucial. They were developing for the large swarm tank attacks which the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries used. They are still critical today especially with China now being our main enemy. #MAGA
    Like (67)
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    I grew up during the so-called Cold War when we lived daily with the threat of nuclear attack. I don’t want to go back.
    Like (62)
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    Escalate to deescalate cracks me up! Makes about as much sense as get fat to become skinny. It’s time to stop spending a dime on nuclear weapons. our goal should be peace. There’s enough out there to blow us up 50 or 60 times already but we will find a more creative way to kill ourselves in a short period of time. Pesticides, pollution, fossil fuel, climate change. Why waste money on nuclear weapons?
    Like (55)
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    We have enough fire power to destroy the earth many times over. What good is the empty threat of destroying someone’s entire country when we all know that to do so means destroying ourselves as well! If we put even half that effort into developing diplomacy and compassion the entire world would be safer and better.
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    I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that their are no Republican co-sponsors to this bill, because it highlights just how the GOP has been co-opted by the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about so many decades ago! Ike must be rolling over in his grave to see this continued effort to escalate such potentially tragic military strategies when we are rapidly approaching other more effective, less destructive means of protecting our country and the world, such as drone technology and an era when cyber warfare is becoming much more necessary and viable. I understand that when production of weapons is ended, many thousands of well-paying jobs can be at stake. This is why we need to think strategically and long term about the impact of such changes on We the People, and make reasonable plans to address them. This is NOT the way to go, and I urge you to vote against this bill!
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    So is “escalate to de-escalate” like starve to feed? Beware of a little insecure guy with a nuke who hates a big insecure guy with a nuke. Nothing good can happen. Do everything to prevent war. The people in North Korea are starving. Offer a "Rice for Rockets" or "Meals for Missiles" program in exchange for freezing nukes. Staying alive is a good thing.
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    Referring to Pentagon Strategy: The idea is that Russia — which retains a vast arsenal of small and nimble nuclear arms — could employ one against an American ally or partner in a “limited attack.” That would force the United States to choose between responding with a high-yield strategic nuclear warhead, all but guaranteeing full-scale nuclear war, or returning fire with a conventional weapon, risking embarrassment or defeat. -Paul Sonne Washington Post
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    If anyone thinks other countries are not developing or haven't developed a similar weapon already, then you need your head checked. These countries don't know how to play nice. Nothing else works except peace through strength. Read. Your. History!
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    No more nuclear weapons of any kind. The question we should be asking ourselves is are we acting like a country striving for peace or are we using fear tactics to show the world who’s boss.
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    Why should we be penalized on our low grade weapons one another countries China Russia Japan or not Japan Korea a lot in the Middle East countries have the weapons with high grade and that low-grade on him we shouldn’t be penalized we have to defend her self you don’t have a second chance you get one shot
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    “Escalate to deescalate” is a idiotic strategy when we have to deal with Russia’s conflict escalation control strategy. “Escalate to de-escalate” tends to focus solely on Russia’s thresholds for nuclear weapons use, rather than taking a holistic approach to conflict. De-escalatory strikes are essentially an action to deter further aggression — that is, to control escalation – but such actions do not need to take place in the nuclear realm. For instance, Russia “escalated to de-escalate” in 2015 and 2016, when it deployed S-400 and S-300 air defense systems to Syria, against the backdrop of increasing tensions between U.S. and Russian forces operating in close proximity there. As one U.S. official quipped when asked about the intent behind the 2016 S-300 deployments, “Nusra doesn’t have an air force do they?” The United States took note of the possibility Russians might shoot down a U.S. aircraft. The increased risk that both nations would stumble into a conflict forced the Pentagon to avoid sustained unilateral actions against regime forces (limited cruise missile strikes aside) because the potential gains did not justify the risk of direct conflict with Russia. In ZAPAD-2017, another example, tactical nuclear weapons were not incorporated into the exercise scenario, but the exercise nonetheless showed how Russia planned to use overwhelming artillery and rocket fire to change the enemy’s cost-benefit analysis. De-escalatory actions don’t have to use nuclear weapons. A second, more dangerous problem is that policymakers (and policy wonks) tend to misinterpret the phrase as meaning Russia has lowered its nuclear threshold. It’s easy to mentally reduce “escalate to de-escalate” to simply a strategy of out-escalating the other party, perhaps very early in a conflict, by turning to nuclear weapons more quickly than the United States would. But consider that the United States is able to project combat power to Russia’s backyard, a mere 300 miles from Moscow, holding the country at risk of a mass attack of shock and awe. If Russia responded with nuclear strikes in this scenario, U.S. officials may misinterpret the reaction as “escalate to de-escalate” in action. But in fact nuclear use in this case would have been driven by Washington’s approach, not Moscow’s. Further, focusing on whether Russia will resort to nuclear use risks overlooking other actions taken intentionally below NATO’s escalation thresholds. In 2014, Russia could have virtually guaranteed a decisive military victory over Ukraine by displaying its modern military advancements and dominance, sending multiple divisions across the border, supported by thunderous artillery and heavy bombers. It did not, of course, choosing instead to try and achieve as many of its goals operating at as low a level of conflict as possible, and doing so quickly, to avoid NATO intervention. Additional spin-off terminology has aggravated the problem. The commander of U.S. Strategic Command recently described Russia’s strategy as “escalate to win,” but this term is unhelpful as it leaves open the definition of “win” in a given conflict. If winning means achieving strategic goals, then that’s just every conflict in history and is too broad to be useful. If the definition of win becomes flexible, then the possible goals become too varied to pin down in a universal rule. The phrase also doesn’t account for examples of Moscow using restraint to keep the conflict below levels that invite reciprocal escalation — which is encompassed by the more holistic and useful term “escalation control.” Another variation is “escalate to survive,” mentioned on a recent War on the Rocks podcast on this subject, meaning escalatory actions taken to preserve the existence of the state, or perhaps return to a status quo ante. But again, this term doesn’t account for more aggressive actions at lower levels of conflict where the existence of the Russian state is not at immediate risk, such as in Ukraine. By focusing on escalate to de-escalate, escalate to win, or escalate to survive, the West may fail to see what actions Russia might take at lower thresholds — and to understand why it is doing so. Escalation control is the concept that best accounts for the range of military and diplomatic actions the Kremlin has taken in recent years. This framework, specifically applied to Russian strategy, outlines a proactive approach to controlling the process of escalation rather than militarily defeating the adversary at any given escalation level. It requires Russia to maintain the initiative in a conflict, an area in which it has excelled. In Ukraine, Russia tried a number of methods — at incremental levels of engagement, rather than at higher levels requiring decisive combat power — to achieve measured success before NATO could interdict and escalate the conflict to a level unacceptable for Moscow. Generally speaking, Russia has controlled the pace and scale of the conflicts in Syria as well, forcing American-backed forces to react to Russian-backed forces’ actions. Since Russia first intervened in Syria in 2015, a number of incidents have raised tensions between Russia and the United States: cruise missile strikes in response to chemical weapon use, harassment and encirclement of At Tanf, and the massively successful U.S. strikes on alleged Russian mercenaries. In each case, Russia has set the tone for what happens next, kept the conflict from escalating beyond its means or desires, and remained on track to have a sustained military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. Escalation control also requires a confident understanding of the adversary’s escalation thresholds. This was clearly a consideration for the Kremlin in Ukraine, where it consciously chose to incrementally increase direct action in the country’s east without escalating to decisive combat power (and probably not because it was deterred by fear of Ukraine’s military). Rather, Russia applied and refined its understanding of NATO thresholds for intervention, taking care to avoid inviting conflict. In this way, Western deterrence worked at one level of conflict but failed to some degree at another. Russia’s incremental increases were not de-escalatory actions, designed to create shock and compel and adversary to back down. Instead, they were intentionally constrained to avoid NATO intervention thresholds. This is consistent with a model of escalation control, but is not “escalate to de-escalate.” The nuance between “escalate to de-escalate” and a strategy that includes de-escalatory actions in its toolbox might seem like a matter of semantics, a little like knowing the exact size of a boot that is kicking you in the face. But this difference has significant implications for how the United States deals with the Kremlin. Unfortunately, de-escalatory nuclear strikes — the victim of the “escalate to de-escalate” misnomer — are neither the only nor the most likely level of conflict that the West will see from Russia, as Ukraine and Syria have shown. Escalation control can be applied with any weapon system, including nuclear weapons, and it’s not even Russia’s idea, at least not originally. “We may seek to terminate a war on favorable terms using our [remaining] forces as a bargaining weapon-by threatening further attack … our large reserve of … firepower would give an enemy an incentive to avoid our cities and to stop a war.” This might seem like a quote from a Russian Military Thought article, but in fact it was U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1962 explaining U.S. strategy to use limited nuclear strikes to de-escalate a conflict using “deliberate escalation,” specifically in a situation where NATO non-nuclear forces could not successfully defend against a Soviet attack. What was old is new again. Whether de-escalation actions take the form of deploying advanced air defense where U.S. aircraft are operating or launching a demonstrative nuclear strike, they achieve their desired aim not through the actual effect of the weapon, but by increasing the risk of what could come next. Deterring further escalation through these actions only works if the possible consequences are both credible and undesirable, which is why it can work at many levels of conflict. Escalation control proactively uses that risk to keep more capable adversaries deterred at lower levels of conflict. Critics of escalation control often point out that escalation is not something that a party does, but rather is something that happens, and therefore no party to a conflict can actually control escalation. Indeed, some critics make the case that Russians don’t believe they can control escalation. often focus on the higher ends of the conflict spectrum, in this case on nuclear first use thresholds, where the stakes are higher and there are fewer rungs left to climb on the escalation ladder. But at lower levels, the Kremlin has in fact successfully controlled conflict escalation in two theaters with the potential for U.S./NATO intervention in the last four years. Moreover, Russia’s approach takes full advantage of this fear that escalation is uncontrollable. If an adversary believes that no one can control escalation, increasing the risk of a larger-scale conflict at lower levels can deter even lower-level intervention. Uncertainty increases risk, and the shared risk of escalation into a direct large-scale war can deter lower level confrontation. Through proactive and calculated escalatory actions, Russia can use the risk and uncertainty of potential escalation to enhance its deterrence of adversaries at these lower levels of conflict. No matter the interpretation, escalation control is a more difficult strategy to counter than just “escalate to deescalate.” It can work for many desired outcomes, whether it’s to win, simply not lose, maintain a frozen conflict, or solidify a new status quo. It relies on forward-looking detailed planning focused on a limited number of adversaries. It is flexible and responsive to emerging and dynamic situations Russia is relying provocative, lower-level actions that use escalation risk to deter United States and avoid getting into a conflict it doesn’t want. This approach does have a weakness: It relies on a reactive adversary with known or accurately predicted thresholds. The United States has to decide which escalation thresholds it wants to communicate clearly, and which ones it wants to keep ambiguous to deter Russia. This will be complex, since it requires accounting for newer domains and means of conflict. It will also require making some tough internal calls about what is important enough to the United States to justify certain actions and certain risks, and then deciding how or whether to communicate those thresholds. Communicating to Russia that any malign act will result in direct military action is not credible. The lines need to be drawn, at least internally, and then the United States needs to decide whether those thresholds are best served by communicating clarity or ambiguity to Russia. It’s true that this intentional ambiguity about escalation thresholds will also create an environment for miscommunication while both sides adjust to their opponents’ thresholds and posturing. But if Russia and the United States are going to have miscommunication it should happen at the lowest levels of conflict possible, rather than one party getting backed into a corner where large-scale retaliation is required. If the United States doesn’t think through its policy and posturing before a crisis occurs, it may feel compelled to act, to do something, rather than capitulate. Foresight and clarity about Russia’s approach to controlling escalation can give the United States hard choices early rather than impossible choices later — and that starts with finding the right language to describe and understand Russia’s strategy
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    I believe that a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon will only allow nuclear weapons to be used. In this case, less doesn’t mean more, or better. A tactical nuclear weapon may not have the immediate negative impact as a large strategic weapon does, but these smaller tactical weapons would likely be a primer to global nuclear war. Mutually Assured Destruction has served humans well. If we change the dynamics of the Prisoners Dilemma, we upset the balance of nuclear powers. Do we really want to contend with smaller nuclear powers that will exploit low-yield tactical weapons? The complexity of nuclear arsenals is what helps to ensure that such actors are not sharing the stage with the Super Powers. Let’s not make it easier for them.
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    We should stop producing any nuclear weapons period. Their destructiveness is appalling. Nuclear waste, like plastic, never entirely goes away. It remains ready to kill forever. Mutually assured destruction is horrific. No more nukes.
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    Don’t we have enough nuclear warheads to blow the earth up, completely, already? Enough then!
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    Russia and China ARE developing them, it would be the highest irresponsibility to deny our forces that tactical flexibility. Unless you WANT to use a sledgehammer when all that's needed is a tap?
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    👎🏻 H.R.1086 AKA “Hold the Low-Yield Nuclear Explosive (LYNE) Act👎🏻 I’m in STRONG opposition to the Representative Lieu’s House Bill H.R. 1086 AKA the “Hold the Low-Yield Nuclear Explosive (LYNE) Act” which would prohibit the provision of funds for the research, development, production, and deployment of the Trident D5 low-yield nuclear warhead. Sponsoring Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) bill to prohibit the research, development, production, and deployment of low-yield nuclear warheads for submarine-launched ballistic missiles is nothing more then a further attempt to reinstate the Obama philosophy of reducing the U.S. military to a “Second Rate” military force. We must have a capability of a deterrence weapon to respond to the threat that any potential foreign nuclear adversary, Russian or Chinese or any other future nuclear capable nation. President [Vladimir] Putin announced as far back as April of 2000 that the Russian doctrine will be to use a low-yield nuclear weapon on the battlefield in case of a conventional overmatch with an adversary. The U.S. needs low-yield nuclear weapons to deter adversaries, especially Russia. These weapons are part of an “escalate to deescalate” strategy that’d avoid all-out nuclear war. SneakyPete.......... 👎🏻👎🏻LYNE-ACT👎🏻👎🏻. 3*30*19.........
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    When we currently have missiles that can carry up to 14 individual MIRV warheads that can be deployed independently. Seems unlikely that the US would need any low yield devices. When we already have enough weaponry to destroy the planet many times over.
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    We need a new sane administration who can take appropriate decisions about nuclear weapons and so many other issues. Get rid of trump and trump’s corrupt criminal regime. And stop developing these nuclear weapons. Especially while you have a dangerous delusional demagogue trump and his corrupt criminal cronies in the WH.
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    Yes, ban them. They are the gateway drug to Armageddon.
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