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The U.S. Is Thinking the Unthinkable: It Is Preparing for the Possible Use of Nuclear Weapons Against Iraq

January 30, 2003
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Military analyst William Arkin is reporting in the Los Angeles Times:

"One year after President Bush labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea the 'axis of evil,' the United States is thinking about the unthinkable: It is preparing for the possible use of nuclear weapons against Iraq."

“At the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in Omaha and inside planning cells of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, target lists are being scrutinized, options are being pondered and procedures are being tested to give nuclear armaments a role in the new U.S. doctrine of "preemption."Arkin reports the Bush administration has significantly lowered the nuclear threshold to make so-called 'preemptive' nuclear attacks a possibility. This may also lead to other nations revising their own thresholds that dictate when nuclear weapons are deployed.

Arkin concludes that to use nuclear weapons to defeat Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has the potential to create a political and global disaster.

Guest:

  • William Arkin, military affairs analyst for the Los Angeles Times. He wrote a piece in this Sunday’s LA Times "The Nuclear Option in Iraq: The US has lowered the bar for using the ultimate weapon" which looks at the Bush administration’s plans to possibly use nuclear weapons in the upcoming war on Iraq.

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