More on NNSA And Nuclear Forces

A colleague pointed out a passage that I had failed to notice in the NNSA document I “blogged about”: 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”: on the forthcoming follow-on to the NNSA paper.

3 thoughts on “More on NNSA And Nuclear Forces

  1. MarkoB

    that’s not new. Clinton had the same thing: the 2001 annual defense department report to congress (william cohen) states that nuclear weapons are to “hedge against defeat of us conventional forces in defense of vital interests” (in chapter 2)…notice that that’s more permissive than this team bush quote…“defense of vital interests” can be construed by others to be a reference to aggression

  2. Paul Kerr

    Agreed. I used the word “reinforces” to cover my ass, but I should have taken the time to be more explicit.

  3. MarkoB

    oh, I should have been more explicit…the comment was a reflection on clinton…a lot of the focus goes on team bush but a lot of the bad stuff was there during the clinton years too. A lot of people give clinton good marks only because this administration is a bit more nutheaded than the previous one.


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