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Writing in the March 10, 2002 edition of the Los Angeles Times, defense analyst William Arkin revealed the leaked contents of the Bush Jr. administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that it had just transmitted to Congress on January 8.
The Bush Jr. administration has ordered the Pentagon to draw up war plans for the first-use of nuclear weapons against seven states: the so-called “axis of evil”: Iran, Iraq, and North Korea; Libya and Syria; Russia and China, which are nuclear armed.
This component of the Bush Jr. NPR incorporates the Clinton administration’s 1997 nuclear war-fighting plans against so-called “rogue states” set forth in Presidential Decision Directive 60.
These warmed-over nuclear war plans targeting these five non-nuclear states expressly violate the so-called “negative security assurances” given by the United States as an express condition for the renewal and indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by all of its non-nuclear weapons states parties in 1995. Yet this new NPR has delivered yet another serious blow to the integrity of the entire NPT Regime.
Equally reprehensible from a legal perspective is the NPR’s call for the Pentagon to draft nuclear war-fighting plans for first nuclear strikes:
against alleged nuclear/chemical/biological “materials” or “facilities”; “against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack”; and “in the event of surprising military developments,” whatever that means.
According to the NPR, the Pentagon must also draw up nuclear war-fighting plans to intervene with nuclear weapons in wars:
between China and Taiwan; between Israel and the Arab states; between Israel and Iraq; and between North Korea and South Korea.
It is obvious upon whose side the United States will actually plan to intervene with the first-use nuclear weapons. Quite ominously, today the Bush Jr. administration accelerates its plans for launching an apocalyptic military aggression against Iraq, deliberately raising the spectre of a U.S. first-strike nuclear attack.
The Bush Jr. administration is making it crystal clear to all its chosen adversaries around the world that it is fully prepared to cross the threshold of actually using nuclear weapons that has prevailed since the U.S. criminal bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Yet more proof of the fact that the United States government has abandoned “deterrence” for “compellance” in order to rule the future world of the Third Millenium.
The Bush Jr. administration has obviously become a “threat to the peace” within the meaning of U.N. Charter article 39. It must be countermanded by the U.N. Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. In the event of a U.S veto of such “enforcement action” by the Security Council, then the U.N. General Assembly must deal with the Bush Jr. administration by invoking its Uniting for Peace Resolution of 1950.
There very well could be some itty-bitty “rogue states” lurking out there somewhere in the Third World. But today the United States government has become the sole “rogue elephant” of international law and politics. For the good of all humanity America must be restrained. Time is of the essence!
Francis Boyle is human rights lawyer and a professor of law at the University of Illinois. He is the author of The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, recently published by Clarity Press. He can be reached at: FBOYLE@LAW.UIUC.EDU