A colleague pointed out a passage that I had failed to notice in the NNSA document I “blogged about”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1488/nnsa-report-on-us-nuclear-strategy the other day.
I’m not sure that this was intended, but the passage reinforces the notion that US nuclear weapons are for a lot more than deterring or responding to nuclear atttacks on the United States.
According to the NNSA, “an operational” U.S. nuclear force of 1,700-2,200 strategic warheads
bq. will demonstrate to allies and adversaries alike that the United States has the necessary means, and the political will, *to respond decisively against aggression and the use of weapons of mass destruction.*
Note that the bold part not only includes chemical and biological weapons, but it also seems to draw a distinction between those weapons and “aggression” – presumably, the use of _conventional_ weapons.
Guess you _can_ say something meaningful in three pages…
Jeffrey has “more”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1591/nuclear-strategy-follow-on-white-paper on the forthcoming follow-on to the NNSA paper.