The writer is the director of security and defense research program at the Istanbul-based think-tank EDAM.


In February 2020, the U.S. Strategic Command conducted a war-game, assessing a limited nuclear exchange with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. News reports suggest that the drill’s scenario simulated a first use of tactical nuclear weapons by Moscow in the European theatre, followed by “an American response in kind”.

The Pentagon’s drill was centered on the use of the W76-2 low-yield nuclear warhead-tipped submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Notably, the U.S.’ 2018 Nuclear Posture Review document hinted at the Trump administration’s plans

Read more: Keeping a nuclear exchange limited: Closer look into Pentagon’s recent wargame