Well at least the Bush Administration is consistent ! :roll:
The Bush Administration has dramatically raised tensions in the Iraq crisis by stating that it would respond with nuclear weapons against any country that used weapons of mass destruction against the US or its allies.
The nuclear threat is contained in a newly-declassified document called the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, the release of which follows repeated warnings from President George Bush to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and his generals not to use chemical or biological weapons against the US. “The United States will continue to make clear that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force - including through resort to all our options - to the use of WMD against the United States, our forces abroad, and friends and allies,” the document says.
However, a classified version of the strategy, reported in The Washington Post, goes even further: it breaks with 50 years of American counter-proliferation efforts by authorising pre- emptive strikes on states and terrorist groups that are close to acquiring weapons of mass destruction, or the long-range missiles capable of delivering them. The policy aims to prevent the transfer of weapons components, or to destroy them before they can be assembled.
In a top-secret appendix, the directive names Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya among the countries of central focus in the new American approach.
Administration officials said that did not imply that Mr Bush intended to use military force, covert or overt, in any of those countries. He was determined, they said, to stop transfers of weapons components in or out of their borders.
The strategy was released as Spanish special forces, with US intelligence support, stopped a North Korean ship bound for Yemen with Scud missiles.
The six-page strategy released by the White House was a declassified extract of a top-secret directive signed by Mr Bush in May.
It does not repudiate “traditional measures” of diplomacy, multinational arms-control agreements and export controls.
But, in its classified form, the directive is premised on a view that “traditional non-proliferation has failed, and now we’re going into active interdiction”, according to one participant who spoke without authority from the White House.
The US threat to use nuclear weapons in the case of a biological or chemical attack is not new policy. George Bush senior, the president’s father, made similar threats to Saddam before the 1991 Gulf War. The new strategy paper, however, is designed to establish a single policy across all arms of the US government on weapons of mass destruction, covering both containment of attacks and coping with them.
The timing of the new White House statement also underscores the tense mood in Washington as the Administration attempts to discredit Iraq’s report to the United Nations Security Council on the destruction of its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The US has insisted that the report, delivered last weekend and being examined by UN experts, will be found to be false.