No nukes? Well, fewer nukes it looks like. Fewer options. Higher systems risk.
The United States has informally told Japan that it will retire its sea-based Tomahawk cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, in line with President Barack Obama's policy to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons, Japanese government sources said Monday.
Washington said the move would not affect its ''nuclear umbrella,'' addressing concerns in Tokyo about the step's effect on the U.S. deterrence against potential attacks from countries like China and North Korea, the sources said.
The retirement policy will likely be stipulated in the ''Nuclear Posture Review,'' a new nuclear strategic guideline the Obama administration is slated to report to Congress in March, they said.We'll see when it is official. Fewer options for response leads to fewer and fewer points of failure. TLAM-N has certain advantages over a SLMB when it comes to not scaring the vodka out of our Russian friends when you launch it - in addition to other things that the crazy people behind the cypher door can talk to you about.
Officials from both (USA & Japan) governments have already begun discussions on the future of the U.S. deterrence on the premise the Tomahawk will be retired, they said.
In February last year, before Japan's long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party was ousted from power in September, Japanese diplomats concerned about a weakening of the U.S. deterrence asked the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States that Tokyo be consulted ahead of any decision if Washington considers retiring the nuclear Tomahawk.
The commission urged the U.S. government in its final report in May to take steps to retain the Tomahawk, saying, ''In Asia, extended deterrence relies heavily on the deployment of nuclear cruise missiles on some Los Angeles class attack submarines -- the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile/Nuclear (TLAM/N). This capability will be retired in 2013 unless steps are taken to maintain it.''