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Pentagon changes post-war policy to allow nuclear strikes against non-nuclear threats, breaking Biden’s promise

The Pentagon revealed in its new “National Defense Strategy“that they will renounce President Joe Biden’s promise to use nuclear warheads only to deter or respond to a nuclear attack. Instead, the US will now use nuclear weapons to “deter not only nuclear attacks, but also a narrow range of other serious consequences, strategic-level attacks.”

Biden’s nuclear linchpin

The Pentagon report suggested that its updated policy on countering non-nuclear nuclear threats was the result of a “thorough review of a wide range of nuclear declaration policy options – including both No First Use and Sole Purpose Guidelines.”

The department concluded that “given the range of non-nuclear capabilities being developed and deployed by competitors, these approaches would result in an unacceptable level of risk that could cause strategic-level damage to the United States and its allies and partners”.

This change represents a significant U-turn for Biden, who fought in 2020 on the Democratic Party platform, who opposed “a return to an old era of serious nuclear dangers”; called for a reduction in US nuclear stockpiles; and insisted that the “sole purpose of our nuclear arsenals should be to deter a nuclear attack – and retaliate if necessary”.

The Democratic platform that Biden has joined also criticized former President Donald Trump for trying to build new nuclear weapons, calling the initiative “unnecessary, wasteful and unjustifiable.”

The Biden administration recently concluded that nuclear upgrades are not so unnecessary after all.

Politically reported this week that the US has accelerated “the deployment of a more accurate version of its main nuclear bomb” on European NATO bases. The B61-12 airdropped gravity bomb will be delivered in December rather than next spring given the urgency created by nuclear tensions with Russia.

An increasingly bipolar world

The Pentagon noted that “in the 2030s, for the first time in its history, the United States will face two major nuclear powers as strategic competitors and potential adversaries”: Russia and communist China.

China is considered to be the far greater threatsince it is “the only competitor that both intends to reshape the international order and increasingly has the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to advance that goal.”

Russia was recognized in the report as an “imminent threat” posing “serious, ongoing risks in key areas” and posing “nuclear threats to the homeland and US allies and partners.”

While Russia poses a threat to America and its allies, it also augments a larger threat.

“Although divergent interests and historical distrust may limit the depth of their political and military cooperation,” the Pentagon pointed out that communist China and Russia continue to develop and strengthen their alliance. This alliance “could seek to create worldwide dilemmas for the Joint Force should the US engage in a crisis or conflict with the other.”

China, considered America’s “most important strategic competitor,” may have just done that an estimated 350 nuclear warheads (Russia has about 5,977 and the US 5,428), but it intended to have 1,000 by the end of the decade. In addition, it is taking “increasingly coercive measures to reshape the Indo-Pacific region and the international system to suit its authoritarian preferences.”

The report indicated that the world “expects the nuclear powers to act responsibly” but that the US has made “little progress” with China despite consistent efforts.

Chinese dictator Xi Jinping recently hinted that a conflict between China and the US is looming, saying: “Be aware of the dangers amid peace. … Get the house in good shape before it rains and prepare to face the great tests of strong winds and waves and even dangerous, stormy seas.

nuclear deterrent

The Pentagon report indicated that in order for the US to “maintain a credible and effective deterrent against both large-scale and limited nuclear attacks by a range of adversaries,” what it would need to do Trump called for 2018: “Upgrade and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, which we hope will never need, but make it so strong and so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone.”

In addition to modernizing “nuclear forces, nuclear command, control and communications, and the nuclear weapons manufacturing enterprise,” the strategy report said the Pentagon will also “strengthen regional nuclear deterrence” by working closely with American allies.

The report’s authors concluded: “For the foreseeable future, nuclear weapons will continue to provide unique deterrent effects that no other element of US military might can replace.”

Bloomberg reported that Mackenzie Eaglen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was “staggered” by how emerging geopolitical threats have prompted both the Trump and Biden administrations, and members of both parties, to adopt a similar approach to defense.

Eaglen said, “They stand ready to defer their visionary policies in the face of the harsh reality of nuclear weapons from China and Russia.”

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https://www.theblaze.com/news/pentagon-changes-post-war-policy-to-allow-nuclear-strikes-against-non-nuclear-threats-breaking-biden-pledge Pentagon changes post-war policy to allow nuclear strikes against non-nuclear threats, breaking Biden’s promise

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