Pentagon Rebuked for Draft Suggesting Nuclear Response to Cyber Attacks

Anti-nuclear advocates on Wednesday denounced a draft Pentagon report pushing the use of nuclear weapons by the United States to respond to non-nuclear attacks—a major departure from the policy that’s been in place for decades.

The draft Nuclear Posture Review expands the definition of the “extreme circumstances” in which the U.S. could use nuclear force, notably suggesting that such weapons could be used in the event of cyber attacks.

“Common sense must prevail, and the U.S. must move to a world where the use of nuclear weapons is less likely, not more likely,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), in a statement.

“There is something seriously wrong with an administration who thinks the unilateral power for one person to end the world is somehow not enough power.”—Beatrice Fihn, ICAN

“They are winding the Doomsday Clock in the wrong direction,” she added, referring to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ symbolic measure of humanity’s proximity to nuclear  catastrophe.

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