Scott Ritter wrote an interesting piece for RT in which he discusses implications of "new" low-yield nuclear warheads deployed on US Navy's SSBNs.
In a statement released earlier this week, US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood announced that “the US Navy has fielded the W76-2 low-yield submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead.” This new operational capability, Rood declared, “demonstrates to potential adversaries that there is no advantage to limited nuclear employment because the United States can credibly and decisively respond to any threat scenario.”
I have to politely disagree with Ritter here--no, not with his assessment of Russian doctrine or capabilities assessments by US military as mostly a figment of imagination of the D.C. "think-tanks". I disagree with the view of these allegedly "controversial" warheads as some step to nuclear doomsday. Realistically those warheads, carried on board of venerable SSBNs of Ohio-class, have zero influence on operational or strategic levels. The reason for this being that ANY salvo by Trident II D5 SLBMs on Russia, even if done in jest and instead of W76-2, having Jack in the Box (or in warhead) instead, or, for that matter having 100 gazillion megatons muthafvcking biggest warhead ever, this salvo, if having Russians not warned about it in advance, will be viewed by Russians as an attack on Russia and will launch a sequence of the events which will see the United States...well, nobody wants to see that. No MATTER what kind of warheads.
I think, the secret of all those "super-pooper" warheads and some "controversy" about them is in the open: I write about it for years. Here is from my latest on that issue:
I can not see as of today US forces capable of fighting a peer without sustaining catastrophic losses which may change the dynamics of the conflict dramatically and push the US to the nuclear threshold. As I spoke for years now, the United States is nuclear-biased since roughly 2008 when the reality of a new combined arms and naval warfare started to trickle down slowly to people who actually have a clue. Not a "four-stars", as Macgregor calls them, of course. In the end, one must ask a question--what happens when the US loses a whole CBG and an amphibious group, or begins to lose 5-10 combat aircraft a day? What will be a reaction?
Against the backdrop of one military snafu and FUBAR after another, with Russia unveiling non-stop warfare changing systems which are already deployed, and humiliations, such as Iranian missile "response", United States is pushed into "do at least something" mode which needs to break at least this vicious circle of geopolitical departure. These new warheads and, allegedly, some sort of change they must bring to a philosophy (and operational concept of nuclear warfare) of nuclearism, in reality change absolutely nothing and do not influence military balance in any way. A salvo of Sea Launched Ballistic Missiles classified as aimed at Russia is just that--the start of the nuclear exchange. No matter how lame current justifications are for deployment of those, ooh, so advanced and so "low-yield" warheads. So, no, there is no need to worry because it doesn't matter how we will die--burned by some "low-yield" warhead or have ourselves blown to smithereens with 1 megaton device. Believe me, I would rather have some 100 gazillion megatons muthafvcking biggest warhead ever dropped on my sorry ass than some "sophisticated" pinprick which leaves me a wonderful chance to survive another couple of hours suffering from enjoyable burns, broken bones, blown out ear drums and evaporated eyes. Thanks, but no thanks--let's fvcking die in a flash, much easier and no suffering. So, that is my disagreement with Scott and his, otherwise, extremely well-written piece.
P.S. In related news (in Russian), more than 70% of Ukrainians consider Russia a hostile country. Do I need to elaborate on that? Of course, not. I speak for years that Ukrainians did happen as a political nation. The discussion is over.