It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The Pentagon has drawn up a new strategy, built on the 2002 "Bush doctrine" of pre-emptive military strikes, that would allow the United States to make first use of nuclear weapons to thwart an attack using weapons of mass destruction against the country.
Under the scheme, developed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff but yet to be ratified by Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, commanders would be able to request permission from the President to use nuclear weapons in a variety of scenarios. According to The Washington Post, one scenario is of an enemy that is using, or "is about to use", WMD against US military forces or the civilian population. Another is where nuclear weapons could be used against biological weapons that an enemy was close to using, and which could only be safely destroyed by nuclear weapons and their after-effects.
In practice, the strategy would update existing guidelines, drawn up in 1995 under the Clinton administration. It would fit in with plans mooted by the Pentagon to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons, specifically designed to attack enemy bunkers holding WMD, which could be buried deep underground.