HIROSHIMA DAY 2003: Secret Meeting on the Privatization of Nuclear War
Behind closed doors at Strategic Command Headquarters
by Michel Chossudovsky
August 7, 2011
At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable – a nuclear holocaust which could potentially spread in terms of radioactive fallout over a large part of the Middle East.
All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb as “a weapon of last resort”, have been scrapped. “Offensive” military actions using nuclear warheads are now described as acts of “self-defense”.
The casualties from the direct effects of blast, radioactivity, and fires resulting from the massive use of nuclear weapons by the superpowers [of the Cold War era] would be so catastrophic that we avoided such a tragedy for the first four decades after the invention of nuclear weapons.1
During the Cold War, the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) prevailed, namely that the use of nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union would result in “the destruction of both the attacker and the defender”. In the post Cold war era, US nuclear doctrine was redefined.
The dangers of nuclear weapons have been obfuscated. Tactical weapons have been upheld as distinct, in terms of their impact, from the strategic thermonuclear bombs of the Cold War era. Tactical nuclear weapons are identical to the strategic nuclear bombs. The only things that differentiates these two categories of nuclear bombs are:
1) their delivery system;
2) their explosive yield (measured in mass of trinitrotoluene (TNT), in kilotons or megatons.
The tactical nuclear weapon or low yield mini-nuke is described as a small nuclear bomb, delivered in the same way as the earth penetrating bunker buster bombs. Tactical nuclear weapons, in terms of in-theater delivery systems are comparable to the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
The Pentagon’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review envisaged so-called “contingency plans” for an offensive “first strike use” of nuclear weapons, not only against “axis of evil” countries (including Iran and North Korea) but also against Russia and China.2
The adoption of the NPR by the US Congress in late 2002 provided a green light for carrying out the Pentagon’s pre-emptive nuclear war doctrine, both in terms of military planning as well as defense procurement and production. Congress not only rolled back its prohibition on low yield nuclear weapons, it also provided funding “to pursue work on so-called mini-nukes”. The financing was allocated to bunker buster (earth penetrator) tactical nuclear weapons as well as to the development of new nuclear weapons.3
Hiroshima Day 2003: Secret Meeting at Strategic Command Headquarters