Pentagon Intent on Building Mini-Nukes

November 11, 2003

A new report prepared by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board, entitled "Future Strategic Strike Force" calls for the U.S. to vigorously pursue building a new generation of mini-nukes, including enhanced neutron bombs and "nuclear bunker-busters." The report calls for arming a stockpile of missiles with such weapons and targeting them on smaller states.

The program of researching and preparing mini-nukes follows the guidelines of the Pentagon's 2002 "nuclear posture review" which called for a renewed role for nuclear weapons in U.S. military strategy. In addition, leading government officials are regularly calling for the use of such weapons as part of the "war against terrorism and rogue states." Amongst other things, the warmakers hope that "mini-nukes" can more easily be sold to the public as acceptable tools of warfare. According to one former Pentagon official, "Brutally put, mini-nukes would be easier to use."

As part of the same plan, the Senate recently eased restrictions on nuclear tests and the Bush administration is planning to end the 11-year moratorium on nuclear tests.