Recent reports suggest that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump insistently asked an anonymous foreign-policy expert why the United States should not use nuclear weapons more readily. This has led to a chorus of voices decrying the way in which Trump is reported to have spoken about the nuclear option, with many insisting the United States should only ever employ nuclear weapons in retaliation after an opponent has used them first.
It is certainly right that such terrible weapons should only be used in extreme circumstances (a point of view Trump appears to have expressed earlier this year), but the conventional wisdom is wrong in suggesting the United States should under no circumstances be the first to use nuclear arms.
To read the full article, visit the Foreign Policy website.
More from CNAS
ReportsRising to the China Challenge
An independent assessment for Congress as mandated by the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act....
By Ely Ratner, Daniel Kliman, Susanna V. Blume, Rush Doshi, Chris Dougherty, Richard Fontaine, Peter Harrell, Martijn Rasser, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Eric Sayers, Daleep Singh, Paul Scharre, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Neil Bhatiya, Ashley Feng, Joshua Fitt, Megan Lamberth, Kristine Lee & Ainikki Riikonen
PodcastArmed services continuously make procurement reforms
There has been years of continuous procurement reform for the Defense Department. Tinkering by Congress has rendered procurement into a sort of laboratory. And each of the arm...
By Susanna V. Blume
VideoWinning the Next War
Chinese and Russian capabilities to exploit vulnerabilities in America's current way of war have grown. Without major changes to how it fights its wars, does the United States...
By Robert O. Work & Chris Dougherty
PodcastWorking National Security on John McCain’s Presidential Campaign
Richard Fontaine spent years advising leading figures in American foreign policy, but working for the late Sen. John McCain was unlike anything he had experienced before. Now ...
By Richard Fontaine & Ilan Goldenberg