US President Barack Obama has reportedly rejected proposals to exclude pre-emptive atomic strikes from the country’s new nuclear strategy.
Obama is making his final decisions on America’s new nuclear strategy, called the ‘Nuclear Posture Review’, which is expected to permanently downsize the US nuclear arsenal.
But fears are growing that the president might follow in his predecessor Gorge W. Bush’s tracks.
Citing unnamed senior presidential aides, the daily New York Times said on Monday that the administration has rejected proposals that the United States declare it would resort to nuclear arms only once targeted by such weapons.
This would mean Obama, who has been extremely cautious in distancing himself from the former administration’s policies, may now leave open the possibility for the United States to use nuclear weapons in response to a chemical or biological attack, even against a nation that may not possess a nuclear arsenal at all, the paper noted.
The new document is supposed to commit the United States to developing no new nuclear weapons, including the nuclear bunker-busters advocated by the Bush administration.
This is while Obama has authorized billions of dollars more to be spent on updating America’s weapons laboratories.
According to Times article, the US has been bringing up with its European allies the question of whether to withdraw its Europe-based tactical nuclear weapons.
On Monday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was to present Obama with several options in line with a shift in US military strategy towards the use of broader missile systems, mostly arrayed within striking distance of the Persian Gulf states.
Obama’s recently published Quadrennial Defense Review also includes support for a new class of non-nuclear missiles, namely “Prompt Global Strike,” which enable the United States to hit a target anywhere in less than an hour, the Times said.