The Royal Canadian Military Institute (RCMI) has published an article by FAS’s director of the Nuclear Information Project about how U.S. nuclear planners are preparing for the failure of deterrence by putting new strike plans into operation onboard long-range bombers and strategic submarines. This includes options to strike preemptively with nuclear weapons, if adversaries make preparations to use weapons of mass destruction. Some U.S. lawmakers (see below) recently objected to such a broadening of the role of U.S. nuclear weapons.
Sixteen members of Congress have asked President George W. Bush to intervene in the Pentagon’s revision of Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations. In a joint letter published by Representative Ellen Tauscher’s office, the lawmakers object to language that appears to broaden the role of U.S. nuclear weapons. The letter follows my critique of the doctrine in Arms Control Today and a subsequent front-page story in the Washington Post.
On November 18, 2005, U.S. Strategic Command’s new Space a Global Strike command achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The new command, is tasked with implementing the new Global Strike mission assigned to STRATCOM in 2003. This includes CONPLAN 8022, a new strike plan that includes preemptive nuclear strike against weapons of mass destruction facilities anywhere in the world.