Angst over China, Russia lessens chance of US nuke changes

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House nearly a year ago seemed to herald a historic shift toward less U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons and possibly a shrinking of their numbers. Even an American “no first use” pledge — a promise to never again be the first to use a nuclear weapon — seemed possible.

Then China happened — revelations about its expanding nuclear force and talk of potential war with Taiwan.

And then Russia happened — signs that it might be preparing to invade Ukraine.

Now, major shifts in U.S. nuclear weapons policy seem much less likely, and while Biden may insist on certain adjustments, momentum toward a historic departure from the Trump administration’s policy appears to have stalled.

The outlook will be clearer when the Biden administration completes its so-called nuclear posture review — an internal relook at the numbers, kinds and…

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