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New Nuclear Plan Falls Short of Bush Pledge

Arms Control Today Article Reports: New Nuclear Plan Falls Short of Bush Pledge

A draft Pentagon doctrine calls for maintaining an aggressive nuclear posture with weapons on high alert to strike adversaries armed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD), pre-emptively if necessary, according to an article by Hans Kristensen published September 6 in Arms Control Today, the monthly journal of the Arms Control Association.

Nearly four years ago, the Bush administration unveiled its nuclear posture review, claiming that it would significantly change U.S. nuclear policy and reduce the role of nuclear weapons. Yet, as Hans M. Kristensen writes, "the new U.S. nuclear doctrine falls far short of fulfilling the administration's publicly stated goals. Instead of replacing the role of nuclear weapons, the new doctrine merely calls for conventional forces and missile defenses to complement them."

The doctrine, the first formal update since the Bush administration took office, is entitled "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" and has been strongly influenced by the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and other directives published by the Bush administration since 2001. A final version is expected later this fall. The draft doctrine and editing comments were freely available on the Internet until recently, providing a rare glimpse into the secret world of nuclear planning in the post-Cold War era.

The full article is available on the Arms Control Association's website: http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_09/Kristensen.asp. Arms Control Today encourages reprints of its articles with permission of the Editor. The doctrine and related documents are available at http://www.nukestrat.com/us/jcs/jp.htm.

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