Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

March 9th, 2002

This afternoon I read one of the most disturbing pieces of news I’ve seen in a while. The US government is proposing to use nuclear weapons in the battle field against its enemies, if they feel it is justified.

The first of the scenarios specified is one that is well known: “retaliation for attack with nuclear,biological or chemical weapons”. However there are two scenarios being reported that should cause everyone considerable worry:

  • “targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack”
  • “in the event of surprising military developments”

In other words any situation in which the US engages in military action and is losing, or in which they feel they might lose, there is the possibility of using nuclear weapons. This development is worrying not just because of the spectre of nuclear weapons being used, but because it means that all states can now legitimately pursue the goal of developing nuclear weapons. If the use of nuclear weapons is possible in situations other than Mutually Assured Destruction then there remains no moral imperative for states not to develop nuclear weapons.

The US can no longer say that developing weapons is inherently wrong. Nuclear weapons are no longer restricted to use in self defence, they have now been blessed as available for use in any conflict.

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Copyright 2015 Colin Stewart

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