In the past few weeks, administration officials have made not-so-veiled threats that the United States might use nuclear weapons against Iraq
During the Gulf war--despite possessing overwhelming conventional power--military planners considered using nuclear weapons to incinerate Iraqi stockpiles of biological weapons; they eventually settled on high explosives. Indeed, the Gulf war experience convinced many hawkish military thinkers that tactical nuclear weapons had become obsolete. Under the Clinton administration, the preemptive use of nuclear weapons was not official policy. Yet some analysts remained attached to a few niche roles for battlefield nuclear bombs.
The Bush administration seems oblivious to the irony in using nuclear weapons to fight a war against nuclear proliferation. Certainly, the nuclear taboo is not a panacea--Kim Jong Il and Saddam care little about international norms--but it is still valuable. By needlessly claiming that we need nuclear weapons to fill military holes, we confirm all the worst international stereotypes about a trigger-happy Bush administration, undermine our argument that others should forego them, and weaken our coalitions. We weaken our coalitions by undermining global regimes, such as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, that our allies strongly support.
via abuddhas memes
posted by Cyndy