Former Republican Secretary of State George Shultz on Thursday warned Congress against embracing the Trump Administration's consideration of new nuclear weapons with smaller explosive yields — as proposed in a draft of the Pentagon's pending Nuclear Posture Review.
“A nuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon," Shultz, who served as President Ronald Reagan's top diplomat, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "You use a small one, then you go to a bigger one. I think nuclear weapons are nuclear weapons and we need to draw the line there."
Shultz, who testified along with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, has advocated a path toward the abolition of nuclear arms in recent years.
Amid the nuclear standoff with North Korea and a resurgent Russian nuclear arsenal, he told the panel he is concerned that the longstanding fear of the effect of using nuclear weapons is fading.
“These weapons are immoral, as President Reagan said many times," Shultz added.
He was adamant that in his view a new American arsenal of low-yield nukes won't make the United States safer.
"One of the alarming things to me is this notion that we can have something called a small nuclear weapon, which I understand the Russians are doing, and that somehow that’s usable," he told the panel. "Your mind goes to the idea that, yes, nuclear weapons become usable. And then we’re really in trouble, because a big nuclear exchange can wipe out the world.”