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U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said the U.S. needs to make a small-yield bomb to effectively deter potential rivals.

"...We believe that some nations could miscalculate – one in particular – and that nation could assume that if they used, in a conventional fight, a small-yield bomb, we would not respond with a very large-yield bomb," he told a briefing in the White House.

Read alsoUSAF says it deploys theater security package to Estonia"Our response to this is to make a small-yield bomb and say, 'Don't miscalculate.' It's a deterrent. Remember, deterrence is dynamic, it changes from year to year, from decade to decade. We have to address deterrence in its current construct," Mattis said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the administration of President Donald Trump wants to revamp the U.S. nuclear arsenal and develop new low-yield atomic weapons, mainly in response to Russian actions in recent years.

Jon Wolfsthal, who was special assistant to Barack Obama on arms control and nonproliferation, said the new nuclear posture review prepared by the Pentagon, envisages a modified version of the Trident D5 submarine-launched missiles with only part of its normal warhead, with the intention of deterring Russia from using tactical warheads in a conflict in Eastern Europe