Mike Whitney reports for Global Research:
“The Biden administration’s Nuclear Posture Review is, at heart, a terrifying document. It not only keeps the world on a path of increasing nuclear risk, in many ways it increases that risk. Citing rising threats from Russia and China, it argues that the only viable U.S. response is to rebuild the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal, maintain an array of dangerous Cold War-era nuclear policies, and threaten the first use of nuclear weapons in a variety of scenarios.”
Whitney cites Stephen Young, from the Union of Concerned Scientists:
‘Maybe you’re one of the millions of people who think the US would never use its nuclear weapons unless the threat of a nuclear attack was imminent.
Well, you’d be wrong, because according to the recently-released Nuclear Posture Review, the bar for using nukes has been significantly lowered. The new standard reads like this: (nukes can be used) “in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.’
Defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies??
That’s a pretty broad net, isn’t it? That could include anything from a serious threat to national security to an ordinary economic competitor. And that loosy-goosy definition appears to be just what the authors were looking for. The hardliners wanted to fundamentally change US nuclear doctrine so the conditions under which nukes could be used was greatly expanded. The obvious objective of this dramatic policy-shift is to eliminate any obstacle to the free and unfettered use of nuclear weapons. Which is precisely what the neocons have always wanted; a green light to Armageddon. Now they got what they wanted.’”