A new policy drafted by the Department of Defense (yet to be approved by Secretary Rumsfeld, but the chances of a veto are low) gives President Bush the authority to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike. Previous nuclear policies only permitted responsive attacks– such as when enemy bombs are on their way. Despite what I think of nuclear weapons in general, the fact is we have them (tens of thousands of them, in fact!) and so do some others. A policy is certainly needed, but a pre-emptive capability in the hands of Bush could be a very dangerous proposition.
The first example listed in the new policy is a nuclear strike against an enemy “using or intending to use weapons of mass destruction” against the U.S., it’s allies, or other civilian populations. Sure, I think governments or Bad Guys who are planning to do that should be shut down– and hard. But let’s recall how firmly George and his cronies believed Iraq had WMD’s. They were absolutely convinced of it. Had this policy been in effect then, I wonder if Saddam would’ve been incinerated in a nuclear fireball instead of captured in a bunker?
One man should never have this kind of power, especially if that man is George W. Bush.