Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates appeared together yesterday to defend the revised nuclear strategy that the President announced last week:
(CBS) The Obama administration’s nuclear posture review may have removed some of the intentional ambiguity from U.S. nuclear policy, but it does not leave the country any less safe, President Obama’s top national security advisers said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
In fact, they said, it gives a clear warning to other state actors that the U.S. will not ignore any growing threats.
“This is putting everybody on notice,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer in an interview conducted Friday at the Pentagon. “We don’t want more countries to go down the path that North Korea and Iran are.”
“We were concerned about the biological weapons,” Gates said, “and that’s why the president was very clear … if we see states developing biological weapons that we begin to think endanger us or create serious concerns, that he reserves the right to revise this policy.”
Clinton added, “If we can prove that a biological attack originated in a country that attacked us, then all bets are off.”
Gates also pointed out that the policy dictates that any country that uses chemical or biological weapons against the U.S. will “suffer a devastating conventional retaliation.”
Strong words indeed, but I still have the same reservations about this policy that I expressed last week, and I still don’t see why we had to break 60 years of tradition and make our nuclear strike policies public. This is a situation where ambiguity works to our advantage.
All I can say is that I hope they know what they’re doing.