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重启核军备竞赛?应对中俄核战略,美国考虑扩大核武库

JULIAN E. BARNES, DAVID E. SANGER

2024年6月11日

关岛安德森空军基地的一架B-1轰炸机。虽然拜登政府并未放弃口头上支持无核世界的立场,但官员们承认,现在达成新的军备控制协议机会渺茫。 Nancy Borowick for The New York Times

A senior Biden administration official warned on Friday that “absent a change” in nuclear strategy by China and Russia, the United States may be forced to expand its nuclear arsenal, after decades of cutting back through now largely abandoned arms control agreements.

拜登政府的一名高级官员周五警告,如果中国和俄罗斯的核战略“不做出改变”,美国可能会被迫扩大自己的核武库。在过去的数十年时间里,美国一直通过军备控制协议削减核武库,这些协议现已基本放弃。

The comments on Friday from Pranay Vaddi, a senior director of the National Security Council, were the most explicit public warning yet that the United States was prepared to shift from simply modernizing its arsenal to expanding it. They were also a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia about the likely U.S. reaction if the last major nuclear arms control agreement, called New START, expires in February 2026 with no replacement.

美国国家安全委员会高级主任普拉内·瓦迪上周五的讲话是迄今为止最明确的公开警告,表明美国准备从单纯的核武库现代化转变为核武扩充。瓦迪的话也是在警告俄罗斯总统普京,如果最后一项重要的核军备控制协议——《新削减战略武器条约》在2026年2月到期后没有替代协议的话,美国可能会做出什么反应。

Mr. Vaddi, speaking at the annual meeting of the Arms Control Association, a group that advocates limits on nuclear weapons, confirmed what officials have been saying in private conversations and closed congressional testimony for more than a year. It is the inevitable outgrowth, they have argued, of China’s rapid nuclear expansion and Russia’s repeated threats to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

瓦迪是在主张限制核武器的组织——军控协会的年会上发表这番讲话的,他证实了官员们一年多来在私下谈话和闭门国会证词中所说的话。他们认为,这是中国快速扩张核武库和俄罗斯一再威胁要在乌克兰动用战术核武器的必然结果。

But it would be an epochal shift, and one fraught with dangers that many Americans thought they had left behind at the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

但这将是一个划时代的转变,其中伴随着许多美国人认为他们在冷战结束和苏联解体后就已经抛在身后的危险。

Fifteen years ago, President Barack Obama outlined a vision of moving toward a world without nuclear weapons, and he took steps to reduce their role in American strategy and defenses. While the nation’s nuclear complexes were improved and made safer, and old weapons were swapped out for more reliable or updated versions, the United States insisted it was only “modernizing” its arsenal, not expanding it.

15年前,奥巴马总统提出了一个迈向无核世界的愿景,并采取措施降低核武器在美国战略和防御中的作用。虽然美国的核设施得到了改进,变得更加安全,旧武器也换成了更可靠或更新的版本,但美国坚称,它只是对核武库进行了“现代化”,而非扩大它的规模。

As vice president in the Obama administration, President Biden became the spokesman for this strategy.

当时作为奥巴马政府的副总统,拜登总统成为了这一战略的代言人

At the time, China was still maintaining its “minimum deterrent” policy, which dates back to its first nuclear test in 1964, and Mr. Putin appeared to have little interest in fiscally ruinous arms races. That has now changed.

当时,中国仍坚持“最低限度核威慑”政策,该政策可以追溯到1964年中国进行的首次核试验,而普京当时似乎对耗资巨大的军备竞赛兴趣不大。现在情况发生了变化。

China is on a path to match the number of American and Russian deployed nuclear weapons by 2035, according to the Pentagon’s public estimates. Mr. Putin has fixated on unusual weapons, including an undersea nuclear torpedo that could be launched across the Pacific to destroy the West Coast of the United States. And the United States has warned in recent months that Russia has a program underway to put a nuclear bomb into orbit.

根据五角大楼的公开估计,到2035年,中国部署的核武器数量将与美俄不相上下。普京一直专注于一些独特的武器,包括可以横跨太平洋摧毁美国西海岸的海底核鱼雷。美国近几个月来一直警告,俄罗斯正在实施一项将核弹送入太空轨道的计划。

There have been no discussions with Russia since it invaded Ukraine about negotiating a replacement for New START, which limits each country to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons, the kind that can be launched from one continent to another.

自俄罗斯入侵乌克兰以来,美国一直没有与俄方就《新削减战略武器条约》的替代文件进行过谈判。该条约限制双方部署的战略核武器数量不超过1550枚,该类别指的是能从一个大洲发射到另一个大洲的核武器。

China has been unwilling to engage in deep nuclear talks with the United States, making it clear that it is not interested in arms control until its own arsenal is comparable to that of the two biggest nuclear powers. (Britain, France, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea all have arsenals of their own, though with much smaller numbers.)

中国一直不愿意与美国举行深入的核谈判,明确表示在拥有与两个核大国相当的核武库之前,对军控不感兴趣。(英国、法国、印度、巴基斯坦、以色列和朝鲜都拥有自己的核武库,不过数量要少得多)。

While the Biden administration has not abandoned its rhetorical support of a world without nuclear weapons, officials have acknowledged that the prospects of new arms control deals are now so remote that they have to think about new strategies.

尽管拜登政府并未放弃口头上支持无核世界的立场,但官员们承认,现在达成新的军备控制协议机会渺茫,他们不得不考虑新的策略。

Mr. Vaddi said the development of the B61-13 gravity bomb, a nuclear weapon meant to be used against hardened and large military targets, was an example of the kind of projects the United States would pursue.

瓦迪表示,B61-13核重力炸弹就是美国将开展的此类项目的一个例子。这是一种用于打击有加固保护的大型军事目标的核武器。

For now, the United States is improving, not expanding its nuclear arsenal. But Mr. Vaddi made clear that could change.

目前,美国正在改进而非扩大核武库。但瓦迪明确表示,这种情况可能会改变。

“Absent a change in the trajectory of the adversary arsenal, we may reach a point in the coming years where an increase from current deployed numbers is required, and we need to be fully prepared to execute if the president makes that decision,” he said.

他表示:“如果对手的核武库发展轨迹不做出改变的话,我们可能会在未来几年达到需要在现有基础上增加部署数量的地步,而且我们需要做出充分的准备,一旦总统做出决定就能立即执行。”

The United States remains ready to pursue arms control agreements to reduce nuclear threats by “limiting and shaping” adversaries’ nuclear forces, Mr. Vaddi said. And citing the history of separate diplomatic tracks for such agreements, he suggested Russia’s war in Ukraine would not be a barrier to a discussion.

瓦迪说,美国仍随时准备寻求达成军控协议,通过“限制和塑造”对手的核力量来减少核威胁。他指出历史上曾有为达成此类协议而另建外交渠道,并表示俄罗斯在乌克兰的战争不会成为讨论的障碍。

But he said Russia’s rejection of talks to a successor agreement to New Start has “cast a shadow” over diplomatic issues.

但他说,俄罗斯拒绝就《新削减战略武器条约》的后续协议进行谈判,这给外交问题“蒙上了阴影”。

“At least in the near term, the prospects for strategic arms control are dim,” he said.

“至少在短期内,战略军备控制的前景是暗淡的,”他说。

A year ago, at the same conference, Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, pledged a renewed effort to bring China into arms control talks. Since that speech, the United States has tried to engage the Chinese on nuclear safety issues and recently conducted the first talks, in Geneva, to address whether it would be possible to reach an accord that artificial intelligence should never control nuclear weapons, among other limitations.

一年前,在同一次会议上,国家安全顾问杰克·沙利文承诺,将继续努力让中国参与军控谈判。自那次讲话以来,美国一直试图就核安全问题与中国展开接触,最近双方在日内瓦举行了第一次会谈,讨论是否有可能达成一项协议,即永远不要用人工智能控制核武器,以及其他限制事项。

That meeting was preliminary, and it is unclear if others are to follow. While China has urged the United States to adopt what it calls its “no first use” policy for employing nuclear weapons, it has not engaged substantively with the American proposals.

日内瓦会谈只是双方在此议题上的初步接触,目前还不清楚是否会有后续的会谈。虽然中国已敦促美国采取其所谓的“不首先使用核武器”政策,但并未与美国的提议进行实质性接触。

One of the complications of the current nuclear environment, administration officials say, is the potential that Russia and China may coordinate their nuclear policies, part of the “partnership without limits” that Mr. Putin and Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, announced in 2022.

拜登政府的官员表示,当前核环境的一个复杂因素是,俄中可能会协调它们的核政策,这也是普京和中国领导人习近平宣布的“没有止境”的合作关系的一部分。

The failure of Russia and China to engage in meaningful negotiations, Mr. Vaddi said, was “forcing the United States and our close allies and partners to prepare for a world where nuclear competition occurs without numerical constraints.”

瓦迪说,由于未能与俄中进行有意义的谈判,这“迫使美国和我们的亲密盟友和伙伴为一个没有数量限制的核竞争世界做好准备”。

Modernizing the American nuclear arsenal, he argued, will give both Russia and China an incentive to go back to the negotiating table and put Washington at a stronger place in those talks.

他认为,美国实现核武库的现代化会让俄中都有动力回到谈判桌前,让华盛顿在谈判中处于更有利的位置。

“We need to persuade our adversaries that managing rivalry through arms control is preferable to unrestrained competition,” he said.

“我们需要说服我们的对手,通过军备控制来管理竞争比无节制的竞争更可取,”他说。

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