Bush ready to use pre-emptive nuclear strikes against terrorist nations
It is hard to imagine that Bush has actually determined that nuclear weapons are an option in a matter which does not threatened the existence of the United States. It seems to me that no nation should cross the threshold of using nuclear weapons but I have a feeling that they have already been used in Afghanistan; one day when Bush is out of office, the documents will surface to prove that he did in fact use nuclear weapons.
It is interesting that on December 10, 2002, Jimmy Carter was receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway and Bush was moving forward with his determination to start a war with Iraq. It is doubtful that two presidents will every be so diametrically opposed to each other as are Carter and Bush. But what is more noteworthy is the fact that the issue is the future of WorldPeace.
Those who remember and those who have studied the Cuban Missle Crisis can hardly argue that under Bush's pre-emptive strike policy that he would have begun a nuclear war 40 years ago.
Dec. 11, 2002, 2:44AM
Nuclear retaliation an option, U.S. says
White House vows aggressive response to combat weapons of mass destructionBy BARTON GELLMAN and MIKE ALLEN
WASHINGTON -- A Bush administration strategy announced Tuesday calls for the use of pre-emptive military and covert force before an enemy unleashes weapons of mass destruction, and underscores U.S. willingness to retaliate with nuclear weapons for chemical or biological attacks on U.S. soil or against American troops overseas.
The strategy introduces a more aggressive approach to combating weapons of mass destruction, and comes as the nation prepares for a possible war with Iraq.
A version of the strategy that was released by the White House said the U.S. will "respond with overwhelming force," including "all options," to the use of biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear weapons on the nation, its troops or its allies.
However, a classified version of the strategy goes even further: It breaks with 50 years of U.S. counterproliferation efforts by authorizing pre-emptive strikes on states and terrorist groups that are close to acquiring weapons of mass destruction, or the long-range missiles capable of delivering them.
The policy aims to prevent the transfer of weapons components or to destroy them before they can be assembled.
In a top-secret appendix, the directive names Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya among the countries of central focus in the new U.S. approach. Administration officials said that did not imply that Bush intends to use military force, covert or overt, in any of those countries. He is determined, they said, to stop transfers of weapons components in or out of their borders.
The policy sets out practical ramifications of Bush's doctrine of pre-emption, contained in a national security strategy released in September, which turns away from Cold War doctrine based on deterrence and containment in favor of taking on hostile states before they can strike.
It reiterates in more universal terms a warning that was made to Iraq, in much more general terms, on the eve of the Persian Gulf War of 1991. A letter from then-President Bush promised "the strongest possible response" if Iraq were to use chemical and biological weapons against U.S. and allied troops.
But the new policy is more specific, detailing the consequences for an enemy's use of weapons of mass destruction.
Although the document does not mention Iraq by name, the timing of its release sent an unmistakable message to Saddam Hussein about the potential consequences of using non-conventional weapons in a future war.
A senior administration official, briefing reporters on the new strategy, said those options include nuclear force. The official said the 1991 letter had its intended effect. "He didn't cross the line of using chemical or biological weapons," the official said. "The Iraqis have told us that they interpreted that letter as meaning that the United States would use nuclear weapons, and it was a powerful deterrent."
In the past, U.S. officials have seen some advantage in keeping the world guessing about how the United States would respond to evidence that a country or a terrorist group was hiding weapons of mass destruction deep underground. And Bush administration officials were at pains Tuesday to insist there was nothing new in their formulation.
Under Bush, however, Pentagon officials also have appeared to take a step closer to the possible limited use of nuclear weapons by pursuing new and more usable ones.
A review of nuclear policy completed by defense officials a year ago put added emphasis on developing low-yield nuclear weapons that could be used to burrow deep into the earth and destroy underground complexes, including stores of chemical and biological arms. This has raised questions about whether the administration is lowering the threshold for using nuclear arms.
Officials deny that they are doing so. But they also argue that the strategic calculations necessary for combating terrorism and hostile nations must inherently be different from those used during the Cold War.
Against today's new enemies, the administration has argued, it may be necessary to strike pre-emptively and with nuclear weapons that would keep fallout to a minimum.
The administration published a broader national security strategy in September, and the preparation of a separate policy on weapons of mass destruction reflects the seriousness with which the administration takes the threat of attacks from rogue states and terrorist organizations.
The six-page strategy released by the White House was a declassified extract of a top-secret directive signed by Bush in May after resolving interagency disputes dating back to January.
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