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The Pentagon’s Nuclear Contingency

Beijing China Daily (state-run), March 12: The [Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture] Review, even if it is a contingency plan, has reduced the trustworthiness of the United States, which has pledged not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries. The review has also cost a high diplomatic price.
 —Xi Xuelian

Moscow Moscow Times (independent), March 14: The recent disclosure of a secret Pentagon report naming Russia as a prime target of possible U.S. nuclear attack—together with China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Libya—caused a lot of noise in the West but not much of a stir in Russia. That the Pentagon is still targeting Russia more than 10 years after the end of the Cold War is indeed not big news for the Russian military.

The deployment and possible use by the U.S. military of new battlefield nukes may drastically lower the nuclear threshold and trigger numerous local and regional nuclear wars in coming decades. But in fact, the Russian nuclear bomb makers have been for many years lobbying the Kremlin to deploy their own "surgical" battlefield nukes....It seems bomb makers on both sides of the Atlantic are...closely coordinating their moves. It's also clear they do not care much about the potential fallout. 
 —Pavel Felgenhauer

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Sydney The Sydney Morning Herald (centrist), March 12: Coupled with the latest round of saber rattling over Iraq, publication of the [Nuclear Posture] Review has raised immediate fears in the Arab world of a devastating nuclear strike in the Middle East. The Bush administration appears indifferent, however, to both international criticism and concerns. Instead, buoyed by its military rout in Afghanistan, Washington seems determined to move further away from multilateralism and “international citizenship” and to pursue a strategic and diplomatic agenda shaped by self-interest.

Oslo Dagsavisen (liberal), March 12: The new nuclear policy is clearly a new attempt by the Bush administration to restore U.S. invulnerability. But security cannot be achieved by nuclear rearmament....The security gained is very temporary. After a while, when the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is dead and others try to obtain similar tactical “utility” nuclear weapons, there comes greater vulnerability and increased insecurity for everyone.

Paris Le Monde (liberal), March 12: Why sign or remain bound to a treaty
renouncing the ultimate weapon if it no longer guarantees it won’t be used against you?...What is being rubbed out is the borderline between nuclear and conventional. What is being negated, in a totally irresponsible manner, is the uniqueness of the atomic bomb. And what it thus encourages is an all-out proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Pentagon’s document is worthy of a nation in panic, not a superpower with a sense of responsibility. It is terrifying.

Rotterdam NRC Handelsblad (independent), March 11: The Bush administration has apparently not hurt itself within the United States with this new nuclear concept concealed within the Pentagon’s report. For the majority of American citizens, there are scarcely any limits in the war against terrorism. But the Pentagon has not done Bush any service when it comes to efforts to keep the international coalition against terror together, which is, and remains, a serious goal.

 
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