August 04, 2016

Nuclear Weapons Aren’t Just For the Worst Case Scenario

By Elbridge Colby

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. 

 
  • Commentary
    • January 20, 2021
    Sharper: Day One

    The Biden-Harris administration will confront a range of national security challenges from the moment it takes office....

    By Chris Estep

  • Commentary
    • War on the Rocks
    • January 15, 2021
    How the Defense Budget Could Actually Increase (Slightly)

    Once all is said and done, it is more likely that defense spending will end up growing rather than shrinking....

    By Diem Salmon

  • Commentary
    • INKSTICK
    • January 15, 2021
    The President (Probably) Isn’t Going To Nuke Anything This Week

    The idea that presidents are able to use nuclear weapons in any way they personally desire is not correct....

    By Tom Shugart

  • Video
    • January 13, 2021
    Defense Priorities Under Biden

    Richard Fontaine and Robert O. Work join the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston to discuss the Biden Pentagon and the future of U.S. defense. Watch the full conversatio...

    By Richard Fontaine & Robert O. Work

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia