Wednesday, December 11, 2002

U.S. warns potential enemies: Retaliation could include nukes WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration is issuing a reminder of its policy that warns any nation using weapons of mass destruction against the United States or its allies that it will face massive retaliation, perhaps with nuclear weapons. That policy is not new, but senior administration officials say they are laying it out for the first time formally in a strategy document on combating weapons of mass destruction. ...
"Seniore administration officials" are right, this is not a new policy. Most of the world has understood that this has been the unofficial policy for decades. Why else do you think Sadaam didn't put chemical weapons on scuds during Gulf War I? These kind of diplomatic wink-winks are necessary because committing to the policy explicitly actually ties our hands and makes it easier for an external force to manipulate us. But Bush has never been one for the subtle nuances of international diplomacy. Thus we have seen him make unofficial policy official (or at least explicit) on multiple occaisions. He did it with respect to Taiwan. Now he is doing it with respect to nuclear response. I guess this is all part of his "straight-talking man" routine.

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