Administration Weighs 'No First Use' Nuclear Policy

I'm hoping this isn't another "yeah, we thought about it but then Newt Gingrich called us weenies" kind of thing. Because it would be really good news if it isn't:

The review is shaping up to be a major showdown for Obama this year. It is taking on some of the most sacred cows of the nuclear program. For the first time, influential voices, including a former top nuclear commander and senior Obama advisers, are proposing that one leg of the nuclear arms “triad’’ - a $30 billion-a-year enterprise made up of land-, air-, and sea-based weapons - be eliminated.

Another historic change under consideration is adopting a “no-first-use’’ policy, a public declaration stating the United States would not use nuclear weapons first, a step long advocated by arms control advocates who believe it would reduce the incentive for other nations to develop nuclear weapons.

Also on the table, the officials say, is explicitly limiting the nuclear arsenal’s mission to deterring other nuclear weapons - not chemical or biological attacks or halting a massive conventional military assault, as current policy stipulates.

“The US-Soviet standoff that gave rise to tens of thousands of nuclear weapons is over, but the policies developed to justify their possession and potential use remain largely the same," said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a Washington think tank and leading advocate of disarmament. “Unless the United States reduces its reliance and emphasis on nuclear weapons, other states will have a cynical excuse to pursue or to improve the capabilities and size of their nuclear forces."


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