Photo: Jorge Silva / AFP / Getty Images

Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review, officially released today, proposes the U.S. develop low-yield warheads for a submarine launched ballistic missile and a new submarine launched cruise missile, per Defense News.

Why it matters: The new strategy "will ensure Russia understands that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is unacceptable,” it says. It comes after concerns that current U.S. nuclear weapons are too big to appropriately respond to tactical nuclear threats from Russia. Greg Weaver, deputy director of strategic capabilities for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said "there are strong indications that our current...capabilities are perceived by the Russians as potentially inadequate to deter them."

Big picture: The 2010 review emphasized the goal of reducing nuclear stockpiles, and this is a dramatic shift from that, according to Defense News.

Highlights from the review:

  • On cyberattacks: Earlier reporting by HuffPo referred to a provision in the NPR draft that indicated cyberattacks would be grounds for a nuclear response. But per Bloomberg, the final review "was deliberately ambiguous about whether a debilitating cyberattack ... would trigger a nuclear response."
  • The prospect of allowing cyberattacks to trigger a nuclear response met some backlash after HuffPo's report: critics said this would lower the nuclear threshold — or what it would take to provoke the use of nuclear weapons — but Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood said Friday that wasn't the case.
  • The document expresses hope that China will engage in "meaningful dialogue" to improve transparency between nations and to help "manage the risks of miscalculation and misperception."
  • As for Iran, the NPR says that while it has "agreed to constraints on its nuclear program...it retains...much of the capacity necessary to to develop a nuclear weapon within one year of a decision to do so."
  • Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said earlier this week that the new review "was consistent with U.S. policy dating back decades," per the Washington Post.

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Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision Monday rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.

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