Pentagon said to eye nuclear attack against terrorists : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Pentagon said to eye nuclear attack against terrorists


The Defense Department has recommended to President George W. Bush the use of tactical nuclear weapons as a military option to retaliate for last week's terrorist attacks in the United States, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

It is unknown whether Bush has made any decision. Military analysts said the president is unlikely to opt for the use of nuclear weapons because doing so would generate a backlash from the international community and could even trigger revenge from the enemy involving weapons of mass destruction.

However, the Pentagon's suggestion shows the determination of U.S. officials to retaliate for the first massive terrorist attacks on the U.S. mainland, the analysts said.

The recommendation appears intended to deter terrorists, they said.

On ABC television's "This Week" program Sunday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld refused to rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Rumsfeld, who is notoriously tight-lipped with the press, avoided answering a question on whether their use could be ruled out. To a similar question, a Pentagon official also replied, "We will not discuss operational and intelligence matters."

The diplomatic sources said the Pentagon recommended using tactical nuclear weapons shortly after it became known that the terrorist attacks caused an unprecedented number of civilian casualties.

On Sept. 11, hijackers seized four commercial U.S. aircraft. Two of the planes slammed into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center, while a third hit the Pentagon near Washington. The fourth plane crashed outside Pittsburgh. More than 5,000 people were left dead or missing in the attacks.

Tactical nuclear weapons have been developed to attack very specific targets. The military analysts said Pentagon officials are apparently thinking of using weapons that can reach and destroy terrorists hiding in an underground shelter, limiting damage to surrounding areas.

In 1986, the U.S. conducted an air raid on Libya, attempting to target Col. Moammar Gadhafi. In 1998, Washington fired a cruise missile into Afghanistan in an attempt to kill Osama bin Laden.

Analysts said that since these attempts failed, U.S. officials may be mulling the use of tactical nuclear weapons, which can cause much greater destruction than conventional weapons.

The U.S. has indicated that it does not rule out the use of nuclear weapons if a country attacks the U.S., its allies, or its forces with chemical or biological weapons.

The Japan Times: Sept. 20, 2001

-- PHO (, September 20, 2001


These psychotics "think" like kids playing with toys, they didn't have to buy and don't have to fix. You've got to realize they care nothing for the human race, if you didn't know already.

-- Ken (, September 20, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ