Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters Drew said “geopolitical issues” – presumably referring to Moscow and Beijing – could prompt the order, and that could change “rapidly.”
“If the president directed – because of a technical issue or a geopolitical issue – the system to go test, I think it would happen relatively rapidly,” Walter said.
The Washington Post reported late last week that the United States is planning to conduct a nuclear test as the Trump administration backtracks on US treaties to reduce nuclear arms, reigniting a dangerous and new Cold War.
Top national security officials of the Trump administration discussed performing the US’ first nuclear test since 1992 at a meeting last Friday.
A senior official told the paper that a US "rapid test" could offer leverage in arms negotiations with Russia and China as the White House pushes for a trilateral arms control deal.