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The case for restoring US nukes in East Asia

From the late 1940s until the 1970s the United States deployed a considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons outside of the continental United States, or CONUS, in Pentagon jargon.

American nuclear weapons were hosted in 27 different countries. In NATO Europe 7,000 US nuclear weapons were positioned in several countries and they remain in the UK, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

Today, the US has hardly any tactical nuclear capability in North and East Asia and its regional bases in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Guam are vulnerable to Chinese missiles and nuclear-capable long-range bombers.

So will the US return tactical nuclear weapons to the Pacific as tensions rise with China? Much has changed in the global power balance as the US posture on nuclear weapons evolved.

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