NATO “manifesto” calls for pre-emptive nuclear strike option

A new “manifesto” from five senior Western military commanders finds: “The risk of further [nuclear] proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible. The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction.” The document is likely to be discussed at the April NATO summit in Bucharest. The authors are Gen. John Shalikashvili, ex-NATO commander and ex-chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff; Germany’s Gen. Klaus Naumann; the Netherlands’ Gen. Henk van den Breemen; Admiral Jacques Lanxade of France; and Lord Inge of the UK. The document is said to include Lord Inge’s recommendation: “To tie our hands on first use or no first use removes a huge plank of deterrence.” (The Telegraph, Jan. 24; The Guardian, Jan. 22)

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