Biden Missing Chance To Move World Back From 'Nuclear Brink' - Arms Control Association

Biden Missing Chance to Move World Back From 'Nuclear Brink' - Arms Control Association

US President Joe Biden will have missed a chance to move the world back from the nuclear brink given his reported decision to allow the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear threats, Arms Control Association Executive Director Daryl Kimball said in a release on Friday

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 25th March, 2022) US President Joe Biden will have missed a chance to move the world back from the nuclear brink given his reported decision to allow the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear threats, Arms Control Association Executive Director Daryl Kimball said in a release on Friday.

"If the report is correct, President Biden will have failed to follow through on his explicit 2020 campaign promise to adopt a much clearer and narrower policy regarding nuclear weapons use, and he will have missed a crucial opportunity to move the world back from the nuclear brink," Kimball said.

On Thursday, US media reported that Biden has approved an old US policy of using the threat of a potential nuclear response to deter conventional and other non-nuclear dangers in addition to nuclear ones.

Biden reportedly said the fundamental role of the US nuclear arsenal will be to deter nuclear attacks, but that still leaves open the possibility that nuclear weapons could also be used in "extreme circumstances" to deter the enemy's conventional, biological, chemical and possibly cyberattacks, according to the report.

Kimball said Biden apparently failed to seize his opportunity to meaningfully narrow the role of nuclear weapons and failed to distinguish US nuclear policy from Russia's nuclear doctrine, which threatens nuclear first use against non-nuclear threats.

"There is no plausible military scenario, no morally defensible reason, nor legally justifiable basis for threatening or using nuclear weapons first - if at all," he said.

Kimball explained that Russia's stated policy that reserves the option to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict with NATO underscores even more clearly how extremely dangerous it is for nuclear-armed states to threaten the use of such weapons in response to non-nuclear threats.

"(I)t reinforces why it is necessary to move rapidly away from dangerous Cold War-era thinking about nuclear weapons," he said, adding that various US and Soviet/Russian leaders have all said a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

Kimball said the Biden administration should be pressured to explain how its nuclear weapons declaratory policy will differ from Russia's nuclear doctrine and under what circumstances the United States might believe it would make sense to initiate the use of nuclear weapons for the first time since 1945.

US media also reported that the White House has assembled a team of security officials to develop response plans for Washington and its allies in case Moscow engages the weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine. The response team was established by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan's memo in February, four days after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, the report said.