Experts Alarmed as Pentagon’s New War-Fight Doctrine Involves Using Nukes

Doctrine envisions nuclear attacks creating 'decisive results' for the US

The Pentagon’s inability to win America’s recent wars in any convincing way may be about to become a much bigger problem than anyone realized, as experts express major concerns about a new policy doctrine adopted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

US struggles with conventional warfare, despite massively outspending everyone else, and they are hoping to turn that around by using nuclear weapons in America’s assorted conflicts, seeing nuclear war as creating “conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability.”

This Nuclear Operations document was published online by the Pentagon briefly last week, but was subsequently removed, and approved by the Joint Chiefs, with officials saying it is “for official use only” now.

Experts see it as a substantial change in US military policy, and particularly nuclear war policy. They say in particular this document does not focus on nuclear deterrence, but rather on US nuclear first-strikes as a war-fighting doctrine. That they see nuclear strikes as a potential cure-all is particularly troubling.

It is not clear if it is directly related to the low-yield nuclear weapons whose funding is a topic of major debate in Congress. Some in Congress were concerned that creating more low-yield nuclear arms would make their use a lower-threshold issue.

Though more usable nukes would clearly fit nicely with the Pentagon’s doctrine of using nukes more, it’s not clear that the doctrine is dependent on having lower-yield options, or if the US will just nuke with whatever they’ve got.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.