Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there is “no such thing” as a tactical nuclear weapon in the context of strategies that consider the use of so-called “low yield” weapons to avert all-out nuclear war.
“I don’t think there’s any such thing as a tactical nuclear weapon. Any nuclear weapon used anytime is a strategic game changer,” he said Tuesday at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Nuclear Posture Review and the overall National Defense Strategy.
“That said, we don’t want someone else to miscalculate” and underestimate U.S. resolve to respond to an attack, Mattis said. The U.S. nuclear deterrent “must be considered credible,” he said.