NewsRealBlog decided to ask a few experts their opinion on the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George W. Bush, a former CIA operative, a former CIA analyst, and a former global strategist for the US Army were interviewed. They want to remain anonymous to protect their and their family’s identities.
NewsRealBlog: In the NPR President Obama issued a directive stating that nuclear weapons would not be used against non-nuclear states even if the US was attacked with biological or chemical weapons. Is this a good policy?
General Richard Myers: This is the President’s call. A nuclear weapon is so powerful that collateral damage has to be evaluated, the loss of innocent men, women, and children. These are horrible weapons.
CIA Operative: Yes, we would not want to kill millions of people at one time. It would be a crime against humanity.
CIA Analyst: It’s a middle of the road policy. It’s a continuation of the Bush policy.
US Army Strategist: The truth of the matter is we moved away from a nuclear strategy in the 1960’s to a counter force doctrine. Every President has used this as a moral strategy. Populations should not be targeted, just weapons.
NRB: Why don’t you think a nuclear attack is credible under these circumstances?
General Myers: If it’s a non-nation force who do you go after; do you go after individuals with a nuclear weapon?
CIA Operative: It’s an empty threat. What if they call our bluff? You can’t have a tool, the nuclear option, without actually using it.
CIA Analyst: Terrorists are not deterred by nukes. Remember they are suicide bombers that do not care about dying.
US Army Strategist: You would not want to use nuclear power to punish, massacring millions of innocents.
NRB: How should we respond to a biological or chemical weapon attack?
General Myers: A nuclear response is almost beyond the last resort. Remember some of our conventional weapons today are very accurate and very effective.
CIA Operative: I think they will be more scared of the US Army crossing their border or the Air Force bombarding their country. Look at President George W. Bush. We lost 3000 Americans on September 11th and he was called “the cowboy President;” yet, he invaded Afghanistan instead of using nuclear weapons.
CIA Analyst: It is crazy to get hit with a chemical attack that may kill a few hundred people and retaliate with a nuclear attack that can kill millions of people. However, a biological attack is different and we should use it to deter the use of biological weapons.
US Army Strategist: What you want to do is destroy the enemy’s war fighting capability. Your goal is to conquer them which is basically what Bush did in Afghanistan.
NRB: Should we ever use nuclear weapons?
General Myers: More important is the larger objective, trying to decrease the potential of a nuclear arsenal. In the Bush administration we did not develop any new nuclear weapons, but wanted to make sure the stock pile of weapons is a credible deterrent that works as intended.
CIA Operative: Yes, we should retaliate when its nuke VS nuke
CIA Analyst: Yes. In the NPR there is sharp language against Iran and North Korea. Remember, the first to use doctrine was not taken away.
US Army Strategist: You would want to use it to disarm your opponent’s nuclear arsenal. If civilians were killed in that type of attack it would be regrettable but would be necessary for the survival of our nation.
NewsRealblog: OK, that’s it. Thank you very much.