I thought the world was steering itself towards the first AI-powered war but it seems that nuclear weapons are still a bigger threat than any of us imagined. The US military certainly seems to think so. A military manual, that became public in recent days. says that the world now faces a higher probability of nuclear warfare. The document goes over many points ranging from policies of the US’ adversaries, potential adversaries and their nuclear weapon systems, and the reality of a nuclear war.
The Federation of American Scientists or FAS got a hand on one of the copies of the document last week through the help of the Freedom of Information Act. The document titled “Joint Publication 3-72, Joint Nuclear Operations” was put out through the Office of the Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff. The manual is the latest edition and was created to help establish “joint doctrine to govern the activities and performance of the Armed Forces of the United States in joint operations”.
There isn’t any good news in the manual at it mostly goes over failed non-proliferation attempts of nuclear weapons and also active development of new nuclear weapons around the world. All of this, coupled with the fact that Russia is developing intercontinental missiles and a radioactive tsunami torpedo, means that tensions are higher than ever. China is also doubling down on its Artificial Intelligence technology.
The manual’s executive summary reads that despite the US’ best efforts to prevent proliferation and escalation of nuclear weapons, “since 2010 no potential adversary has reduced either the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy or the number of nuclear weapons it fields”. It further explains that most potential adversaries have moved in the completely opposite direction.
This means that instead of working together to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, many countries have chosen to invest in and expand their nuclear arsenals. The manual claims that there is an “increased potential for regional conflicts involving nuclear-armed adversaries in several parts of the world and the potential for adversary nuclear escalation in crisis or conflict”.
The document also noted that “While the United States has continued to reduce the number and salience of nuclear weapons, others, including Russia and China, have moved in the opposite direction”. You can read the document as hosted by the FAS here.