USA brandishes nuclear weapons

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Dec 11 07:42:42 MST 2002

Washington Post, Wednesday, December 11, 2002; Page A01

Preemptive Strikes Part Of U.S. Strategic Doctrine
'All Options' Open for Countering Unconventional Arms

By Mike Allen and Barton Gellman

A Bush administration strategy announced yesterday calls for the
preemptive use of military and covert force before an enemy unleashes
weapons of mass destruction, and underscores the United States'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 it 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
United States 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
preemptive 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.



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