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The Pentagon is seeking congressional approval for development of a new weapon able to strike distant targets an hour after they are detected, a newspaper reported on Monday.
The International Herald Tribune said the weapon would be a non-nuclear version of the submarine-launched Trident-2 missile and be part of a president's arsenal when considering a pre-emptive attack.
"There is great concern this could be destabilizing in terms of deterrence and nuclear policy," the newspaper quoted Senate Armed Services Committee member Jack Reed as saying.
"It would be hard to determine if a missile coming out a Trident submarine is conventional or nuclear," the Rhode Island Democrat said.
The Pentagon would like the system available in two years, the report said.