- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 30, 2019

In the latest sign of a more assertive foreign policy push from Capitol Hill, two powerful Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill designed to ensure the United States does not fire the first nuclear shot in potential future wars.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith of Washington state and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, rolled out the “No First Use Act” that would make it the official policy of the U.S. to not use nuclear weapons first in a conflict.

The U.S. government has long resisted adopting the “no first use” doctrine in its nuclear strategy.

“Our current nuclear strategy is not just outdated — it is dangerous,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “By making clear that deterrence is the sole purpose of our arsenal, this bill would reduce the chances of a nuclear miscalculation and help us maintain our moral and diplomatic leadership in the world.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Department of Energy kicking off production of a new low-yield nuclear weapon, as advised by the Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, designed to counter Russia’s arsenal.

President Trump is expected to formally being the withdrawal process from the 1987 International Nuclear Forces treaty, a landmark arms control agreement with Russia, which bans the production of mid-range “tactical” nuclear weapons by both sides. The U.S. and its allies say Moscow has developed weapons that violate the INF.

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