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Obama Unveils New Nuclear Doctrine

pickens (49171) writes | more than 4 years ago

The Military 0

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that under Obama's new "Nuclear Posture Review," released today the US will foreswear the use of the nuclear weapons against nonnuclear countries, in contrast to previous administrations, which indicated they might use nuclear arms against nonnuclear states in retaliation for a biological or chemical attack. But the new policy included a major caveat: The countries must be in compliance with their nonproliferation obligations under international treaties. The problem for Iran and North Korea is that the pledge does not cover them because the US regards them as in non-compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The new policy will also describe the purpose of US weapons as being fundamentally for deterrence. Some Democratic legislators had urged Obama to go further and declare that the United States would not use nuclear weapons first in a conflict but officials worried that such a change could unnerve allies protected by the US nuclear "umbrella." Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, describes the new policy as a big, positive step forward. "It could go further, faster, but it is the best we can hope for under the circumstances. It is a solid, pragmatic document that strives to be transformational. It is transformation in two aspects: It re-orients the US nuclear forces away from massive retaliations and towards today's threats of nuclear terrorism and new nuclear states. It orients US policy towards dramatically fewer weapons and greatly reduced roles.""

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