Donald Trump’s government has considered conducting the first U.S. nuclear test since 1992 as a warning to Russia and China, the Washington Post reported on Friday (22.05.2020), which would mean a breakdown of the country’s defense policy.
According to the US newspaper, which cites a senior government official and two former officials, all under anonymity status, the discussion of that possibility took place during a meeting held on May 15. It came after U.S. officials ensured that Russia and China are conducting nuclear tests. Moscow and Beijing denied it, and Washington has provided no evidence of its claims.
For the senior administration official cited by the Washington Post, proving that the United States is able to conduct a test “quickly” would be a useful negotiating tactic at a time when Washington is trying to conclude a tripartite agreement with Russia and China on nuclear weapons. The meeting ended without a decision, and the sources diverge on the future of the discussions.
This Information from the Washington Post was published after the US president announced his intention to withdraw his country from the Open Skies Treaty, after accusing Russia of violating it.
The treaty, which entered into force in 2002, authorizes signatory countries to conduct observation flights over the territories of other states to verify military movements.
It is the third international defense agreement from which President Trump decides to withdraw the United States, after the pact on Iran’s nuclear program, denounced in 2018, and the INF treaty on medium-range ground missiles, abandoned in 2019.