The recent leak of classified sections of the Bush administration’s Nuclear Posture Review [NPR] shows that Bush’s nuclear policies are schizophrenic and dangerous. Twelve years after the end of the Cold War, Bush policies are pushing the world closer to the use of nuclear weapons,” said Kevin Martin, Executive Director for Peace Action.

The revelations in the L.A. Times show that under the NPR the President intends to produce a wide array of new nuclear weapons and to expand the conditions under which nuclear weapons would be used. Bush’s NPR is the first nuclear review to target non-nuclear nations and the first to list the nations Pentagon planners are slating for nuclear targeting. The nations listed are non-nuclear weapons nations, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and Syria and nuclear weapons powers China and Russia.

“On one hand, in the wake of the revelations, we have Condoleezza Rice saying that, ‘The only way to deter the use (of a weapon of mass destruction) is to be clear it would be met with a devastating nuclear response.’ And, on the other hand, we have George Bush saying that he has to have his pet project, Star Wars missile defense, because the rogue nations could not be deterred with nuclear weapons,” continued Martin.

The administration’s NPR lowers the bar for nuclear weapons use. According to the March 11 L.A. Times, “It says the weapons could be used in three types of situations: against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack; in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; or ‘in the event of surprising military developments.’”

Martin concluded by saying, “Under Bush’s schizophrenic nuclear policy we wind up with the worst of both worlds. His NPR shreds any vestige of integrity that the U.S. has left in relation to the Non-Proliferation Treaty—by building new nuclear weapons and targeting non-nuclear states, Bush specifically breaks our treaty obligations to the world. This encourages nuclear proliferation by further legitimizing nuclear weapons. At the same time, existing nuclear states—Russia, China, India and Pakistan—are forced by Bush’s Star Wars plans to increase or modify their nuclear arsenals so as to avoid having them be nullified by a U.S. missile defense system, should it ever exist.

“Taken together, Bush’s policy of new nuclear weapons, first strike nuclear targeting and the attempt to build a workable missile defense will look to the rest of the world like a country building an offensive nuclear capability. A world leader—an only superpower—who, by example, eschews the laws, treaties and norms that enable global cooperation is a world leader that is setting the stage for nuclear proliferation and nuclear war. In the end, Bush is creating a nuclear legacy that will have tragic results for the entire world.”

Peace Action, (formerly Sane and The Freeze), is the nation’s largest peace and disarmament organization.

Scott Lynch Communications Director Peace Action National Office Phone: 202.862.9740x3030 Fax: 202.862.9762

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