Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 24
2002 発行

Bush administration's nuclear weapons policy : New obstacles to nuclear disarmament

Tachibana, Seiitsu
In his May 2001 statement President Bush set forth a comprehensive policy on US nuclear weapons. In place of the Cold War concept of deterrence based on mutual assured destruction, Bush came up with ‘new concepts of deterrence' with a broad strategy of active counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of defence. A new 2002 US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) seems to be a scenario for the US to construct a unilateral nuclear deterrence set-up on three legs of a ‘New Triad': nuclear and non-nuclear offensive strike systems; active and passive defences; and a responsive infrastructure with new capabilities to meet emerging threats. Bush's December 2001 announcement of US withdrawal from the 1972 ABM Treaty was a declaration of freedom to develop and eventually deploy ballistic missile defence (BMD) systems. Bush's stated mission for BMD is to protect the entirety of the US, its deployed forces, and its allies and friends, whereas both the NPR and Bush's realist aides caution that the BMD need not be 100 per cent effective for deterrence. The logic of BMD behind its recurrences in various versions may be either that the US seeks to secure freedom of power projection or that it attempts to establish control over space for both offensive and defensive purposes, or both. Bush's November 2001 statement on the reductions in strategic nuclear warheads falls under the same framework of neo-deterrence along with the BMD. The announced level of 1,700-2,200 is actually higher than the 1997 Clinton-Yeltsin parameters on a START III. Bush's reductions are only in ‘operationally deployed' warheads, contrary to the traditional rules for counting all deployed warheads as active forces. The strategic nuclear warheads taken off operational deployment will be maintained as part of the ‘responsive force' to augment operationally deployed force if necessary. Nuclear warheads will not be destroyed. The essence of US nuclear weapons policy resides in the plan to use such arms. The leaked NPR report descr