U.S. puts stricter limit on use of nuclear weapons: Defense Chief

08:42, April 07, 2010      

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Tuesday formally unveiled the new nuclear strategy, which puts stricter limit on the use of nuclear weapons.

The United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations, Gates said in a joint briefing with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu on the newly released Nuclear Posture Review ( NPR).

However, the Obama administration was stingy to give an assurance of no-first-use of nuclear weapons as demanded by progressives, partly because officials in the Defense and State departments worried that such a declaration could unnerve allies protected by the U.S. under its "nuclear umbrella."

Gates also warned that "if any state eligible for this assurance were to use chemical or biological weapons against the United States or its allies or partners, it would face the prospect of a devastating conventional military response."

The document, which establishes U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next five to ten years, has been long anticipated and delayed several times for its release.

Under the new strategy, the U.S. declared that the "sole purpose" of its nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attack on the United States or its allies and partners.

The U.S. also promised not to develop new nuclear warheads, nor to conduct nuclear testing.

Despite the reduced role of nuclear arsenals, the U.S. tries to reassure its allies of its intention to strengthen extended deterrence.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged during the briefing that the United States would maintain a "stabilizing role" for its allies after promising to restrict the use of nuclear weapons.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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