lørdag 23. oktober 2021

China's latest missile test raises the stakes for Biden's nuclear weapons review

China's test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile has given new fuel to critics of President Joe Biden's ambitious agenda to scale back America's nuclear arsenal, with intelligence and defense officials warning that the Chinese launch marked a significant technological leap that could threaten the US in new ways.

News of the launch is coming to light publicly as the administration nears the end of its nuclear posture review. Biden's national security team has been working toward a policy of increased restraint and more limited spending on nuclear modernization and production. The President has also been weighing a "no first use" policy for U.S. nuclear weapons, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Others within the administration are waving red flags, however. Intelligence officials told the Senate Intelligence Committee in private briefings that the Chinese test -- which they tracked closely as it was happening -- marked a substantial advancement in China's ability to launch a strategic first strike against the United States, according to people familiar with the briefings.