Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's Official: Nuking Terrorists Now on Table

From The Jawa Report:

The U.S. government has revealed for the first time that a pre-emptive nuclear strike could be used against terrorists who threatened America with weapons of mass destruction. The discussion paper was accidentally posted at a Pentagon Website over the weekend, but has since been removed.

In other words, nothing prohibits the US from initiating a first strike nuclear attack.

The document uses this figure to show the mix of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons that could be used in a premptive strike.

From the Washintgon Times:

A Pentagon planning document being updated to reflect the doctrine of pre-emption declared by President Bush in 2002 envisions the use of nuclear weapons to deter terrorists from using weapons of mass destruction against the United States or its allies.

The "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations," which was last updated 10 years ago, makes clear that "the decision to employ nuclear weapons at any level requires explicit orders from the president."

But it says that in a changing environment "terrorists or regional states armed with WMD will likely test U.S. security commitments to its allies and friends."

"In response, the U.S. needs a range of capabilities to assure friend and foe alike of its resolve," says the 69-page document dated March 15.

A Pentagon spokesman said Saturday evening that Navy Cmdr. Dawn Cutler, a public affairs officer for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has issued a statement saying the draft is still being circulated among the various services, field commanders, Pentagon lawyers and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office.

Its existence was reported initially by The Washington Post in Sunday editions, which said the document was posted on a Pentagon Internet site and pointed out to the paper by a consultant for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The file was not available at that site Saturday evening, but a copy was available at


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