On September 19th, the US yanked a document entitled “Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations” from the Pentagon website which outlines US nuclear warfighting plans, including the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons and the use of nukes in conventional war. It is quite disturbing and hypocritical that the US is considering a nuclear option in this day in age. Furthermore, the document condones pre-emptive nuclear strikes against nations (even those without nuclear weapons) which the US government thinks might use chemical or biological weapons against US forces or allies.
Greenpeace has posted this document on their website to generate awareness after the US Government decided to pull it from the pentagon website. Pentagon spokesperson Lawrence DiRita claims “Even in an unclassified world this is not the kind of thing you want flying around the Internet.”
Here’s a quote from the document:
“Executing a nuclear option, or even a portion of an option, should send a clear signal of United States’ resolve. Hence, options must be selected very carefully and deliberately so that the attack can help ensure the adversary recognizes the “signal” and should therefore not assume the United States has escalated to general nuclear war, although that perception cannot be guaranteed.”
The document even challenges international law to justify the use of nuclear weapons. It concludes that “no customary or conventional international law prohibits nations from employing nuclear weapons in armed conflict.”