Tuesday, February 21, 2006

America and Iran: At the Brink of the Abyss

Whether the U.S. will use nuclear weapons against Iran if a military confrontation erupts is in the hands of a single person, President Bush, as stated in NSC 30 from 1948: "the decision as to the employment of atomic weapons in the event of war is to be made by the Chief Executive when he considers such decision to be required." Bush will certainly not ask Congress nor the public permission once hostilities start. Whether or not tactical nuclear weapons should be deployed and used against Iran is a matter that needs to be faced by America right now!

So are U.S. tactical nuclear weapons deployed in the Persian Gulf, on hair-trigger alert, and ready to be launched against Iran at a moment's notice?

I posed the question in December, arguing that every other element needed for a nuclear strike on Iran was "deployed" and ready. On Feb. 3, 2006, an answer was kindly provided by the Chief of Naval Operations in the form of OPNAVINST 5721.1F [.pdf], which states:

"Military members and civilian employees of the Department of the Navy shall not reveal, purport to reveal, or cause to be revealed any information, rumor, or speculation with respect to the presence or absence of nuclear weapons or components on board any specific ship, station or aircraft, either on their own initiative or in response, direct or indirect, to any inquiry."

Oh well then, we don't know for sure, and there is no way to know. Really?

We do know. Because it would be inconsistent with every fiber of the current administration, and with all the circumstances surrounding the Iran scenario, if tactical nuclear weapons were not deployed in the Persian Gulf, following NSPD 35, on high alert and ready to be used in a confrontation with Iran. So we may safely assume they are deployed and they will be used, and make our choices accordingly. Once it happens, it cannot be undone.


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