The Bush Nuclear Doctrine

The Bush Nuclear Doctrine
Vol: 17 Issue: 19 Wednesday, February 19, 2003

The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including “mini-nukes”, “bunker-busters” and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document.

The leaked preparations for the meeting are the clearest sign yet that the administration is determined to overhaul its nuclear arsenal so that it could be used as part of the new “Bush doctrine” of pre-emption, to strike the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons of rogue states.

The documents leaked are the minutes of a meeting in the Pentagon on January 10 this year called by Dale Klein, the assistant to the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to prepare the secret conference, planned for “the week of August 4 2003”.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, which is responsible for designing, building and maintaining nuclear weapons, yesterday confirmed the authenticity of the document. But Anson Franklin, the NNSA head of governmental affairs, said: “We have no request from the defence department for any new nuclear weapon, and we have no plans for nuclear testing.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld issued his Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a policy paper published last year that identified Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya as potential targets for US nuclear weapons.

According to the Pentagon minutes, the August meeting in Strategic Command’s bunker headquarters would discuss how to make weapons to match the new policy. A “future arsenal panel” would consider: “What are the warhead characteristics and advanced concepts we will need in the post-NPR environment?”

This is the menu of weapons being actively considered by the Pentagon. Low-yield means tactical warheads of less than a kiloton, “mini-nukes”, which advocates of the new arsenal say represent a far more effective deterrent than the existing huge weapons, because they are more “usable”.

Earth-penetrating weapons are “bunker-busters”, which would break through the surface of the earth before detonating. US weapons scientists believe they could be used as “agent defeat weapons” used to destroy chemical or biological weapons stored underground.

The designers are also looking at low-yield neutron bombs or “enhanced radiation weapons”, which could destroy chemical or biological weapons in surface warehouses.


The US decision to increase, rather than decrease, America’s own arsenal of weapons of mass destruction has a downside in that it failed to learn the lessons of the arms race that consumed the last half of the 20th century.

“Think of trying to forge an international coalition to stop an act of aggression for example, when Iraq went into Kuwait if we had known beforehand that Iraq had a nuclear capability and a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe and the United States,” Donald Rumsfeld explained, “It would have been difficult, if not impossible, to fashion such a coalition.”

What message would you take from those words if you ran a small country and feared that you were on Bush’s hit list? You might well conclude that in order to keep the big, bad United States from attacking you pre-emptively, you had better hurry up and develop The Bomb and missiles to deliver it. That message has been reinforced.

During the Cold War, the doctrine of MAD-mutual assured destruction, kept the peace.

If we nuked them, they would surely nuke us, and vice versa.

Without meaning to, the US could be pushing our enemies into acquiring the same kind of deterring sting.

Except the Soviets weren’t completely nuts. Our current crop of enemies are.

The world faces threats it couldn’t even contemplate ten years ago. Nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, neutron weapons designed to destroy flesh without damaging property, VX gas, smallpox, — the list goes on and on. Nobody obtains weapons they don’t intend to use, given the right circumstances.

From his vantage point, six centuries before Christ, the prophet Zechariah witnessed in a vision the final battle in the war of Armageddon. He struggled to describe the scene using the vocabulary available to a man who had never seen a machine.

He viewed the weapons of that battle, and their effect on the battlefield victims. Zechariah singled one terrifying weapon in particular. One unknown to any generation prior to the development of stuff like neutron bombs and chemical weaponry.

“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” (Zechariah 14:12)

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About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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