back to article Former top brass call for first-strike nuke option

A group of former senior military officials has said that Nato must be prepared to launch pre-emptive nuclear strikes to "ward off the use of weapons of mass destruction by its enemies", the Telegraph reports. The authors of the "blueprint for reforming Nato" - which was written after its authors were "briefed by senior …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    following on from one of your other stories today...

    ...why dont they just be done with it and name it federation (or something) *cough*

    first strike should never be an option when you are talking about such weapons, in todays world a first strike would lead to massive loss of life just because someone in a office (or bunker) was pissed about a choice made thousands of miles away.

    the fact that two or more decades ago this was first mentioned and some NATO members didnt want to sit around a table, they just wanted to push the button to solve the problem..

    you cant win. if this is made an option i dread to think what may happen beforehand to trigger such use..

  2. Roy Stilling

    To quote the Piranahs

    Does anybody know how long to World War Three? I want to know I want to book my holiday.

  3. teacake

    I feel safer already

    So, let me see if I've got this right. In order to stop a possible nuclear war, they want to be able to start a nuclear war?

    That ought to reduce tensions...

  4. Les Matthew

    Oh joy

    WMD in 45 minutes anyone?

  5. Paul Fleetwood

    including "abandoning consensus decision making"


    So, members of a military alliance lose their say in whether or not that military alliance decides to use to planet ruining WMD.


    I wonder if the USA will be on of those nations who's consensus won't be required, for some reason I suspect otherwise.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Executive summary

    The only way of avoiding a nuclear war is to have a nuclear war.

  7. Steve

    Oh, shit.

    "abandoning consensus decision making so fast action can be taken without the threat of vetoes and caveats imposed by some nations".

    Translation: we will ignore your opinions and bomb the fuck out of anything we like.

  8. Christoph

    Latest news from the Ministry of Truth

    "The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction."

    It was necessary to destroy the planet in order to save it.

  9. Tom Chiverton
    Black Helicopters


    military action "without ratification by the UN" when "immediate action is needed to protect large numbers of human beings"

    That'll be a different group of people to one they want to nuke then ?

    Seriously- pre-emptive nuclear strikes went down with the Wall, didn't they ?

  10. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Black Helicopters

    Great Idea!!!!

    Lets use nukes on these scumbags that have all these WMDs like the ones we, ur, didn't find in Iraq (WAY more advanced than our stuff: they can vanish without a trace when you actually look). It clearly solves the needs of the military intelligence community (always a contradiction in terms), after they have hit the "WMDs," they can always say: "Heck, we knew they were here, of course there's no evidence left, we just vaporized it!"

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Wrong headline...

    ...should have read "Evil bastards demand right to mass genocide millions of innocent civilians."

    And the subhead should have been "Political assassination justified?".

  12. Pete mcQuail

    Dr Strangelove

    is alive and kicking it seems.

    "abandoning consensus decision making so fast action can be taken"

    Presumably before the sane decision makers can finish their scrambled eggs and switch off the launch gear.

  13. Ash



  14. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Plonkers'r'Us .....again.

    Oh dear, little Hitlers at Play.

    "Former top brass" would be entirely indicative of their modern day worth where the big stick bullying neanderthal approach, in a world of Network Internetworking Robot ICQs, has rendered them as dinosaurs and probably also unmasks them as covert Al Qaeda Drivers. They almost certainly are no part of any meaningful Solution with such shallow thinking.

    And yes, you can quote me on that, if you wish.

  15. Paul Clark

    How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bomb

    This group of "former military officers" doesn't include one General Jack Ripper, by any chance?

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Les Matthew

    @ Tom Chiverton

    "Seriously- pre-emptive nuclear strikes went down with the Wall, didn't they ?"

    Apparently not.

  18. Stuart Van Onselen

    Abandon concensus

    And the difference between this proposed policy, and a military coup, would be what?

    OK, "coup" is too strong a word. The military would not have taken control of day-to-day government out of civilian hands. They will "only" have taken control of the most powerful weapons ever created, out of civilian hands. Which gives them one hell of a lot of leverage...

  19. Rick
    Thumb Down

    didn't I read this yesterday

    This is just NATO's response the the Ruskies. I swear its like two kids in a pissing match....

  20. Mark W

    Re: Translation: we will ignore your opinions and bomb the f*ck out of anything we like.

    wasn't that in Bush and Blair's manifesto already?

  21. Hein Kruger


    If the propaganda that's been almost continuously pouring out of Washington (and Downing Street) over the last 7 years, is to be believed, then the greatest threat faced by western civilisation is from a terrorist with a WMD.

    Now, do these military idiots seriously believe that these terrorists they've been warning us about, would be deterred by a first strike nuke option? Or are they hoping to nuke the terrorists before they get their hands a WMD? That's a rather worrying thought, considering they've already proved themselves pretty much incapable of finding terrorists or WMDs, are they just going to nuke everyone who looks Muslim, just to be sure?

  22. Anonymous Coward


    "abandoning consensus decision making so fast action can be taken without the threat of vetoes and caveats imposed by some nations".

    Translation: We don't think the Frogs have it in them to authorise a nuclear launch ("le button" is small and black. Their big red button launches the white flags) so they'll operate on the "easier to get forgiveness than permission" strategy.


    Not because of the weapons, per se. I'm fairly sure that there are tactical nukes that won't destroy the planet or anything terrible. It just sets a rather nasty precedent.

    Tell me. Was it mostly American generals asking for this?

  23. Rick S

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!"

    Russian ambassador:

    There are those of us who fought against it, but in the end we could not keep up with the expense involved in the arms race, the space race, and the peace race. And at the same time our people grumbled for more nylons and washing machines. Our doomsday scheme cost us just a small fraction of what we'd been spending on defense in a single year. But the deciding factor was when we learned that your country was working along similar lines, and we were afraid of a doomsday gap.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    WMD Security

    Just hope they don't store the Nuke launch codes on a MOD laptop....

  25. Dunstan Vavasour

    Am I the only one

    who would be appalled if they *did* publicly rule out first strike?

    Of course the operational policy is much more complex than the public statements, but how are you supposed to deter a potential enemy? By sowing Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Which has more deterrent effect?

    a) "Will they nuke us sir?" "No, they won't so long as we don't nuke them."; or

    b) "Will they nuke us sir?" "They didn't rule it out."

  26. Anonymous Coward

    I've got an idea....

    ....hey, why don't we attach all the launch mechanisms to a first strike simulator - and I've got the perfect name for it - W.O.P.R. that'll show them commies.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dr. Stangelove again

    "The first use of nuclear weapons.... to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction."

    What's a nuclear weapon then if it's not destructive on a massive scale? What is it with some people that they seem absolutely fucking determined to wipe us all out!

    These people need locking up! If they were caught carrying a knife, they would be. It seems that carrying around bloody huge fucking bombs isn't an arrestable offence though!!!

  28. Stuart Van Onselen

    @Dunstan Vavasour

    Which causes more jumpiness and unpredictability in a nuclear-armed hostile nation?

    a) "Will they nuke us sir?" "No, they won't so long as we don't nuke them."; or

    b) "Will they nuke us sir?" "They didn't rule it out."

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Stop the world

    I want to get off!

  30. Ishkandar

    State sponsored terrorism at its best !!

    And the difference between them and the current crop of terrorists is.....what ??

    @Anonymous Coward - ROFL !! That's the IT angle, alright !!

  31. Steen Hive
    Dead Vulture

    First Strike

    I always get the uneasy feeling that morons that advocate pre-emptive first strike are the most deserving to be on the receiving end of one.

  32. Brian

    Anyone for a game of Nuclear Proliferation

    Anyone in?

  33. Hein Kruger

    @Dunstan Vavasour

    > Which has more deterrent effect?

    > a) "Will they nuke us sir?" "No, they won't so long as we don't nuke them."; or

    > b) "Will they nuke us sir?" "They didn't rule it out."

    Option a has more deterrent effect, I image those conversations might continue as follows:

    a) "Will they nuke us sir?", "No, they won't so long as we don't nuke them."

    "OK, well we'd better not nuke them then".


    b) "Will they nuke us sir?" "They didn't rule it out."

    "Well, then we'd better make sure we nuke them first."

  34. Paul

    So basically...

    ... America wants to fight a war using any NATO members who agree and wants the ability to drop nukes during these wars (Bunker Busters in Afghanistan anyone?)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Former top brass"

    Right, so they're pretty pissed about the "former" bit. Maybe they got their marching orders by SMS. So the big deal in this story is what exactly?

    Softening up the public to accept a preemptive nuclear strike so that when it happens they just yawn and carry on shopping? Good work Lewis. Your promotion is in the post.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    @ Riiiight...

    Well I don't think I need to echo everybody else's comments, so I'll content myself with merely being happy that finally, somebody knows how to spell "precedent" as well as what it actually means.

  37. Louis Cowan

    High noon

    This is like one cowboy shooting another one in the back, just in case the other had any thoughts of shooting the first.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Dunstan Vavasour

    MAD is already assumed .. this is about a preemptive strike and the reason that war is evil. It has no true point of balance, do you not and pay the price, or do you hit back first to save your people.

    We, until now, have assumed that MAD held, ie if you fire at me I will fire back. That is not what the good generals discussed. Anyway, as has already been stated this is just willy waving by some short pricked half cocked dickheads.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Ash is right...

    But the point is, the UN can't shoot first at the mo. They should be able to, but ONLY if properly governed, and I think we've seen they're not. So, no, no nukes for you.

    The whole point is: USA shits over green agreements, the UN's authority, and civilians in conveniently far-off places. Then they start to worry that someone will want to hit back... to fucking right.

    I will always remember Colin Powell laughing at the attendees of the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, as if to say "look at you kids, you don't honestly expect me to give you some of MY bread".

    The world's in a bad place. It's Maddy's mom's fault that someone took her sleeping child? WTF?!? Where's the love.

  40. Adam Foxton

    Wait, they missed...

    ...mentioning preserving our precious bodily fluids from these preverts!

    Strangelove aside, I agree with Dunstan Vavasour. Without a nuclear deterrant we have no real deterrant against others using nukes against us. Pre-emptive nuclear strikes for the hell of it are wrong, but having the facility to escalate our responses when required (say, someone has a big-ass missile or are threatening us ) can be very useful.

    I'd guess this is politically motivated, sort of a "hey, enemies. We know who you are, remember we have these nukes", which would lead me to believe someone's moving to threaten us behind the scenes. Sort of like when people just place guns on the table. They're there, they're prepared to use them but they won't if you don't provoke them.

    Mine's the lead-lined one with the entry badge for the fallout proof coal-mine-bunker, thanks.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    @Dunstan Vavasour

    a) "Will they nuke us sir?" "No, they won't so long as we don't nuke them."; or

    b) "Will they nuke us sir?" "They didn't rule it out."


    Answer a) does, because mutually assured destruction applies. If you go with b), you've missed off the next part of that conversation: "Then we may as well launch if they're going to nuke us anyway"

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The WMD-word

    So you want to keep your nukes even though you don't have a large overwhelming soviet block to use as a target - what to do?

    Tag the latest fearword (WMD) to it and it should be an instant sell!

    After all - the WMD word helped sell torture (as long as it is not used on american soil or on american citizens) and surveilance on a truly Orwellian scale.

    Oh - and of course the WMD-word also sold a war. The WMD-word repeated again and again.

    None of these cases needed any real arguments besides the use of the WMD-word to sell them to the public, so why not use this magic word to sell funding for the "Just Nuke'm" program as well?

    And there are so many wonderfull targets when the only qualifier is that they need to have (or be suspected of having) WMD's!

    Practically anything can be called a WMD these days, so you don't even have to limit the list to the Nuclear-carrying states. A Large fuel-bomb should be enough. Or a local pesticide factory capable of transferring production to toxic gasses.

  43. astro l travler

    May He have mercy on all our sorry souls

    This artical makes me to sick too think we have regressed fifty years in our thinking on the use of nukes. I see no logic on the theory, I may be dead but I killed you First. Anyone up for Duck and Cover ?

  44. A J Stiles
    Dead Vulture

    "just willy waving by some short pricked half cocked dickheads"

    That surely is a good argument for the outright elimination of the male sex.

  45. Harry Stottle

    Anyone still think Assassination Politics is a bad idea?

    What else can we reasonably do when military planners propose to start wars without even consensus amongst themselves, without an agreed basis for evidence justifying the attack and with no regard whatsoever to the democratic consensus of the population. Clearly such imbeciles are far more dangerous than any of our prospective enemies...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    By this logic they ought to nuke themselves right away to prevent themselves from using a nuke.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Another offhand stupid commentor

    AJ Stiles... just in case you did not take elementary biology....without men there is no human life. Keep your man hating comments to yourself. In the future so you dont embarrass yourself as much in public change the word "man" to your favourite minority, repeat the comment and see if it still is funny.....

  48. AH

    Calm down, calm down ....

    ... or you'll miss the point of the PR/mass psychology exercise.

    1. <first strike utter madness>

    2. "to ward off the use of weapons of mass destruction by its enemies"

    The intention here is two fold, and the important one is second:

    1. is just a bit of sabre-rattling that may make the Iranians nervous, if they were really dumb

    2. WMDs have taken a bit of a credibility knock of late. So tuck this phrase in after the <first strike insanity> and everyone is so busy screaming blue murder at that bit, there's a tendency to just take "ward off use of WMD" as fairly reasonable. The WMD thing is so useful as a vague threat there's no way "They" are going to give up on it. And I'm not talking tinfoil hat territory here : that vague threat keeps politicians, the military-industrial complex, Halliburton, "They" in business. (Careful nod in Adam Curtis's direction).

  49. James Pickett
    Black Helicopters


    Just to clarify, what it a nuclear weapon if not a WMD? Strange to think we could all be wiped out by semantics...

  50. Anonymous Coward

    re: Just hope they don't store the Nuke launch codes on a MOD laptop....

    Not a chance - well unless it is the same key as used to lock the notebook up

    (It might be better if they have stayed there as well)

  51. Dave Bell

    We'll all go together when we go...

    I don't trust them to find the right target, but I can see the possibility that one nuke hitting one target now might be the least damaging choice.

    The trouble is, I don't trust either the politicians or the generals. I don't want to make it easy. A rational pre-emptive strike isn't going to be an immediate decision to blow up some new enemy. But that's the impression I get of what they want.

  52. Red Bren

    Protect and survive

    "So when the bombs come raining down put your head between your thighs and with a little muscular pressure, you can kiss your arse goodbye!"

    Misquoted from the Dubliners, so the RIAA will be after me now...

  53. Cameron Colley

    So, did anyone disagree with this?

    Were there any arguments put forth against this, or did the people due to do so commit suicide in the middle of a wood somewhere before it all started?

    We really shouldn't be surprised that a bunch of murderers decide they want to be able to murder more people more quickly. Since WMDs can be made to spring magically from the ground in any country they like, it's obvious this is just an easier way to force otherwise dissenting countries to do whatever they say.

  54. Rodrigo Rollan

    Kind of pointless, huh ?

    Reading this article and comments i´ve been hit by a few thoughts:

    - These top brass gents, at least most of them, are bound to be playing golf with the Bush bunch as I type

    - Why are they trying to legitimize their future actions. ONU rejected their military plans in Afghanistan and Irak and they did not seem to care much... Is this military PR in the works ?!?!?

    - If the rule of thumb for these prevemtive attacks is "if they *think* they migh be attacked , then they attack ", computer simulated scenarios might get into an infinite loop....... better call our friends at Microsoft Development to call dibs on these project

    I know, i am already getting my rediation coat

  55. Chris C


    Why is it that 'we" think that only "we" should have WMDs (yes, a nuclear bomb is a WMD whether it's "us" or "them" using it)? It is because "they" are different than "us"? Are "we" actually considering the outright cold-blooded murder of thousands or millions of innocent people in order to prevent something that a few people *MIGHT* do (and then again, something they might *NOT* do)? Imagine how "they" might think knowing that "we" have nukes aimed at "them" with an itchy trigger finger. If you were in "their" shoes, might you want to develop something to protect yourself? After all, "we" do have a history of killing those different than "us", with and (often-times) without reason. And before you say that "we" are better and more trustworthy than "them", take a look at history and see how both the U.S. and U.K. have treated foreign people (especially foreign nations) and the wars both countries have waged (internally and externally).

    This world (specifically, the U.S. and U.K.) truly is using 1984 as an instruction manual, and that's damn scary.

    As for the AC who's so offended by AJ's comment, get over yourself. Perhaps AJ did consider that the human species could not procreate without men and thinks that the elimination of the human species is in the best interests of the planet (the way things are going, that's certainly the way I think). Or perhaps AJ was just pointing out the lunacy of the typical man (you know, the "manly" man, the aggressor, the "I'll show you how strong I am" type), and pointing out that these men certainly should not be in a position to murder millions of innocent people (if not cause the destruction of the entire planet).

  56. theotherone

    well, nukes have their good points too...

    just look at what they did for the Japanese....booming economy and electronics and robotics and shit....pity around 150,000 of them were killed or horribly disfigured, but it's a small price to pay for play stations.

  57. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    Geriatric lunatics are jealous of the young and want everyone to go out in the final blaze of glory. Not different from those disappointed youth who think they get a shortcut and go from being total failures to posessors of 70 virgins at the press of a button.

  58. John Benson

    sounds like PsyOps to me

    It's too easy to dismiss this as another Dilbertian example of the insane defining reality for the rest of us.

    Who needs agents provocateurs when you can goad people who have something you want into providing you with a pretext to invade? Every country has a supply of nutcases, so the real question should be "Why were these infamous proposals given airplay from this quarter at this time?"

    We now return you to your regularly-scheduled, quotidian reality.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nuclear missle defense sounds a lot better

    Even if it cost a boatload of money to make it work, provides Vladimir Putin with a convenient issue to beat up the nefarious West on and makes some members of the Alliance uneasy.

    Better that than "we launched a first strike on Tehran, but whoops!, it turns out there were no Iranian WMD and the Iranian mullahs were in a bunker 500 miles away at the time."

    I could understand a tactical nuclear strike on a launchsite or weapons assembly/storage site if you had HARD intelligence that a strike was coming within a couple days, but other than that this is a horrible idea.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Why Bash all Americans?

    Its kinda of amusing. Everyone wants to bash the US as this Madly agressive nation. Yet when it comes right down to it lets take a good look at history starting with WWI. Up until WWI the US had a policy that simply put we stayed out of anything that did not involve the Americas. We were asked to help out in WWI. We went and millions of our citizens gave their lives for the continued freedom of europeans. When it was done we again Stepped out of Europe and stayed away. Then WWII comes about. And again we stayed out of it until we were attacked. So once again Millions of American citizens went and gave their lives for the freedom of others. After which we attempted to help rebuild and protect. (Since obviously staying out of it didn't help anyone.) While doing that we helped south Korea maintain its Freedom. In Vietnam we tried to do the same thing and failed. It was the start of something interesting. We started caring more about what people thought of us than about what we were trying to do. Since then all anyone seems to see when we try to protect people is the US "being aggressive". I mean would the Iraqi's really be better off with Saddam still ruling? So maybe we should stop helping so many other countries. Of course where would the world be if we didn't at least try to help? Well lets see there would be no Israel. (Hmm that means no terrorist bombing the US) There would be a united Europe. (Of course it would be under the Nazi's or Russian's no big deal right?) Most of China and South East Asia would be under the control of the Emperor of Japan. So lets see how many countries has the US taken and control of and made into part of our "Empire"? Oh wait that would be none. So the next time you decide to bash America maybe you should stop and think what your life would really be like without us. We may have our flaws but I think Most of the world would find itself much worse off if we just "stayed out" of everything.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    of course, to balance the lefty greenie hippy paranoia

    this sort of thing can be decided and prepared *in advance* with all proper consensus being followed ahead of time.

    And for those who can't count or follow along, first strike nuclear devices are usually below the kiloton range. Ground penetrating devices are even smaller. There are no "millions of casualties" for a device like that.

    Plus, nukes kill germs. When some religious nutball decides he's gonna wipe out all simian based life on this planet, a quick pop takes care of the threat.

    Terrorism is the cancer that's killing society. Whether or not you understand or believe it's scope or impact. the concept of terrorists kills hundreds monthly around the globe, and gives societies and leaders the means to do great evil to their own citizens. Pretending it doesn't exist does nothing to help, nor does letting the cancer grow. You start with the scalpel, then move up to radiation therapy. You don't ignore it and hope it goes away, nor do you negotiate with it. You treat it like the crime it is, and it's purveyors as the criminal organizations they are.

    Hit it at a local level and you don't have to bring in National Governments and their bureaucratic bungling. Islamics-don't like America and the rest of the world bombing and harassing you? Then *you* do something. Treat terrorists worse than you treat your own women. Don't let the cowards hide RPG's in your house. Don't let your daughters and wives stand in front of them as human shields so they can fire on innocents and use retaliation fire as propaganda. YOU can stop the plague. If you don't, Islamic world, do not blame the rest of the world for what it has to do to cure your disease.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Why Bash all Americans?

    Bless. You must be new here.

    I will not feed the trolls

    I will not feed the trolls

    I will not feed the trolls

  63. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Bash Parasites and Viruses ........ not Americans

    Wake up and smell the Java, AC. The fourth Reich is alive and well and fronting with the Fed? And playing a Real Dumb Zero Sum End Game spotlighting themselves in their ivory towers spreading the cancer of their fiscal terrorism.

    In a free world, some would have you enslaved to server for a wage even before you are born. How else do you explain poverty and degradation in a world which accepts worthless paper as wealth but which does not share the wealth except if they see a way to make money themselves from it.

    No one ever got rich from their own toil, that wealth was always given to them/created by the toil of others who made their dream/idea come true. Just imagine the early pioneers who built the West..... the railroad barons, for example.

    They just had a simple/simply compleXXXX idea, shared it, had it supported by third parties who supplied everything as they steered it/expanded further upon their idea[s]. It has always been the case that ideas create wealth not labour therefore money is an artificial invention and perversion for control rather than having anything to do with wealth which is always in Greater Knowledge shared. Requiring money to be exchanged for everything and anything is therefore a curse for we are not born with it and have to be given it and that is subjectively controlled and jealously guarded because it has a Perverse Power .... but it is artificially created and held by those who are powerless and weak without it for they are Intellectually Bankrupt and Morally Corrupt....... Parasites and Viruses are they as they create the Modern Slave Trade for a Living Wage.

    This short article ...... .... presents the Global Slave Trader and his Friends to you but it is all just a Game of Words and the Beta Management of Perceptions and rather than ranting and raving about Failures of Intelligence and the Abuse of the Past, Sharing the Truth and New Ideas for the Future will Present every Opportunity for Money to be given to Create a Global EUtopia rather than an International Prison with the Capitalist System, ITs Jailers. Past Sins in Ignorance and Arrogance Forgiven and Forgotten in the Grand ReBuilding of the World with Money Supply rather than Money Control.

    How else would you Build for an Advanced IntelAIgent Society on Mars ...... or Venus ........ or Earth?

    And the Alien because he's different and friendly and a crazy optimist who sees the Future is nothing like the Past whenever Imagination supplies Everything. In the Beginning, there was always Imagination and IT Creates Everything under the Sun..... the Giver of Light and Sight ..... in the Infinite Cold of Darkness and Zero Sum Thoughts.

    We Think ....therefore each of Us live in Individal Unique Worlds, Beings in the sum of our Thoughts .......and therefore QuITe Alien to each Other Really? How else can it be any different whenever we know so many different things? Some of us live in some Real Cruel and Small-Minded Worlds.

    Sharing Perfect Futures will Create AI Perfect Future for Everyone. AIMission Accomplished with a Quantum Leap into NEUKlearer HyperRadioproActivity with NIRobotIQs?

    I Kid U Not ...... Trust in Global Operating Devices, they know more than enough about IT and can easily Imagine, and It is True.

    And you've been given that Fab Message before and Failed ITs Lead. Are you any SMARTer today?

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Why Bash all Americans?

    Because of exactly the attitude you are displaying.

    "If it weren't for us, you'd all be speaking German!"

    "Many AMERICANS died!"

    Very nice.

    I especially like the way you mention that you stayed out of wars until you were attacked, as a way of proving how naturally non-antagonistic you are. The point of this article is that you want to shoot first.

    But for the record, thanks. Thanks for exporting an insidious and pretentious socio-model, and with such gallantry. Have a nice day.

  65. Dave Bell

    20th Century warmongers

    Europe seemed to back off on starting wars after enduring two world wars. It hasn't stopped things entirely (former Yugoslavia for one), but the big players of the 18th and 19th centuries have stuck to political shenanigans.

    Is the USA ever going to learn without the direct experiences of war? Not the quasi-colonialism of sending their armies off to fight in distant countries, but having the war come home to them.

    We had an Empire. We had the most powerful Navy in the world. We were on the winning side. But we still got the Blitz.

    What has the USA had to teach them that starting wars is dumb?

  66. Claus P. Nielsen

    No need to bash americans

    This report was written by a bunch of generals from several different NATO countries.

    The conclusions have probably less to do with the nationality of the respective generals than it has to do with the fact that they are retired generals form the cold-war era.

    Not ALL old dogs can be taught new tricks.

  67. Slaine

    The right to bare arms, the right to arm bears - whatever.

    Was it not a certain genius by the name of Albert who noted that we do not know when the 3rd world war will be waged, but that that 4th world war will be waged with sticks?

    Mind you, given the state of the global economy right now, we could do with a good bust up to take our minds off the misery that our respective governments have inflicted on us during this time of "relative" peace.

    So now are we to assume that "The War Against Terror" (love that acronym) is now on the rocks. Loved the W.O.P.R. references BTW.

  68. Anonymous Coward

    @ why bash Americans

    Is it because during more recent conflicts there has been a tendency for the US to be REALLY PROMT instead of your professed tardiness? Is it because of the lack of data to back up the current wave of anti-islamic warmongering that the US insists on perpetuating in the Middle East? Is it just because the rest of the world is too bloody scared that when the US does launch, it'll miss it's target (as usual) and cause one allmighty blue-on-blue, all over central Europe? Or is it just because we love you?

    Where's my radiation suit?

  69. Simon Ball

    Not quite that simple

    To be fair, the doctrine of MAD and deterrence in general, doesn’t actually work very well (or at all) when your opponent is hell-bent on martyrdom and doesn’t mind taking millions of people with him.

    The whole logic of a “no first use” policy is that if you relieve your enemy of the fear that you will launch a first strike against him, he will not feel impelled to launch a first strike against you. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work when your enemy a) isn’t actually afraid of being attacked, and b) hates you enough to attack you regardless.

    MAD only functions when both sides are broadly “rational”, and a) value their own lives (or at least the lives of their fellow citizens), and b) are not actively seeking to completely destroy one another. Do Al Queda et al fall into that category? No, I don’t think so. If your enemy can’t be deterred, then a pre-emptive strike is really the only option.

    Having said that, unless you get so little warning of an impending attack that only a ballistic missile would be able to respond fast enough, I don’t see why a strike with conventional weapons wouldn’t be a viable option. These days, large, precision earth-penetrating conventional weapons are equally as effective as nukes against hardened targets.

  70. Shakje

    Re: Why Bash all Americans? etc.

    The Americans did in fact help a lot in WWI and are commendable for it, however suggesting that the American effort alone saved WWII, while they certainly tipped the balance, is naive and disrespectful to the many Europeans and commonwealth citizens who died protecting world freedom from the Nazis. But that's got nothing really to do with the point, because the Americans didn't help initially as they thought Nazi Germany wouldn't affect them, when the Japanese actually posed a threat and they realised that it might be a bad thing if Europe was taken over by a madman they stepped in. It was nothing to do with helping Europe, they did it purely to save themselves, so that entire argument is moot.

    Since WWII there has been no real positive influence from America on the world stage, and they have in fact instigated many, many world incidents that have resulted in huge loss of life. In WWII we DEFENDED our homelands from an invading menace, since that war, America has taken it upon itself to become that invading menace. "Helping" Vietnam, helped no-one, especially not the states or Vietnam. The quest against communism has led to coups being funded throughout South America, funding the IRA, and funding Afghan terrorism. Unfortunately the US did not realise that being the aggressor was a bad thing, even with Afghanistan and Iraq. Quite frankly, I supported the war initially, firstly because I believed my government had our best interests in mind and wouldn't lie about something as world-changing, secondly because I thought that Saddam was a menace and needed to be removed. While I still hold the second belief, it doesn't matter, the Iraqis unquestionably would be living better in general under his rule than they have throughout the invasion. More have died in the last few years, been injured, or lost family members than they would ever have done in Iraq previously. American soldiers have died, alliance soldiers have died because of US friendly fire, and support for terrorism has increased significantly simply because people don't like innocents being killed. Also, we're not bashing all Americans, but the government and the way they have systematically pursued anyone they don't like and found reasons to start wars with them. It's been happening at least for the last 40 years.

    Coincedentally I've just finished reading Cardinal of the Kremlin, and while I don't usually use Clancy for real world discussion, but he has a very good view of the big picture as far as nukes are concerned. The only way to dissuade someone who is going to nuke you is to prove to them that his nukes are worthless. Keeping the nuclear possibility there, but working on defence systems to shoot down the nukes would be much more worthwhile. If his nukes are worthless and yours will decimate him, he won't fire, however crazy he is.

  71. T. Harrell

    Missing the Point

    Seems like everyone is missing the point here and talking about nukes vs. nukes. Eg: We should nuke first before they nuke us. This doesn't sound like what is described in the article. It sounds like they are talking about nukes vs. other, more minor terrorist attacks. Eg: If you suicide bomb one more embassy, we're nuking you. I'm all for this concept, for reasons that Simon Bell seems to have missed:

    @Simon Bell

    The threat of massive nuclear retaliation indeed may not prevent a martyr suicide bomber from doing something horrible. HOWEVER, one suicide bomber and several nukes later, and there will be far fewer people left to become a second suicide bomber. Eg: If you kill everyone, no one will be left to attack.

    Why am I for this strategy? Reasoned, tempered aggression has not been an effective management strategy of Middle Eastern agression. The U.S. and Isreal have both engaged in tempered retaliation, and the only result is a tit for tat game where we are constantly skirmishing. This isn't working. I suggest that we withdraw our aggression, and give a single terrifying ultimatum. You (members of the Middle Eastern community) will sit down at a negotiation table and be civil, and you will honor your words, or you and your people will be annihilated completely.

    I am willing to tolerate the possibility of a one more terrorist act without any defense against it in order to post that ultimatum.

    No I'm not trolling, this is how I feel, and no I don't think there is a high likelihood that it would work. I think it is most likely we would end up blanketing the entire Middle East with nukes, and I do support that as a means to an end.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Speaking Russian

    The truly phenominal Russian sacrifice is what actual lead to victory in WWII, without them the war would have been over well before the US got round to worrying about europe.

    We think their president is a nut job too.

  73. Shakje

    Re: Missing the Point

    You really need to stop reading those papers that tell you that there's a terrorist on every street corner, there isn't enough threat to justify those measures.

  74. amanfromMars Silver badge

    A.N.Other Way ....

    Forget the nukes, hit the bad guys in the pocket and they will fall like dominoes. Target their monetary system just with some well aimed questions and alternative answers showing another very valid view/vista and if it is not worthy and thought to be be very true/truer than any spin in Defense, then it will collapse without a shot or a missile being fired. And if it is not worthy then IT will be doing everyone a great favour. Jaw jaw instead of war war is the new methodology to put terrorism in its place.

    So .......who is/are the bad guys stealing from everyone to fund their lifestyle whilst threatening everyone else's?

    Silence is the Dumb Option they rely on and which keeps their gravy train rolling along and Asses in national Politics is a bad idea whenever there are popular solutions to prevent them causing damage to themselves and everybody else around them. If they want war and death and destruction let them taste it first to see if it suits them. Thanks for the heads-up, Harry Stottle, Posted Tuesday 22nd January 2008 15:51 GMT ....

    That was a very well thought out and pragmatic solution to prevent idiots abusing power and control. And Sharing it widely and with them would have them either seeing sense or confirming that they are not fit for good Purpose and up to no Good

  75. Keith T
    Jobs Horns

    the guy with the biggest gun collection in the trailer park

    The guy with the biggest gun collection in the trailer park is seldom the best choice for sheriff.

    We invaded Iraq when it was no real threat to NATO. Even Iraq's neighbours in the middle east felt it was no real threat, that it was basically helpless.

    The question is, will NATO be nuking countries out of unreasonable fear?

    Will NATO be nuking counties out of its political leader's cowardice?

    Of course we have to be prepared to use NATO's nuclear weapons. But we must not let the cowardice or opportunity of our political leaders cause them to be used unless absolutely necessary.

    The direct deaths, and the deaths all over the world due to radioactive fallout, will be in the hundreds if even a single ground or air burst occurs out in the middle of a desert somewhere.

  76. Keith T
    Jobs Halo

    This is not Mutually Assured Destruction -- MAD does not pertain to anti-terrorism

    The days of MAD are over, except when dealing with Russia. Even China does not yet have the capability yet of totally and utterly destroying the civilian population of the USA.

    Certainly no terrorist organization (or Islamic country) could deter a nuclear first strike by credibly presenting the possibility retaliation that would destroy the USA (or any other NATO country).

    This is unilateral assured destruction, not mutual assured destruction.

    What we have proposed is the idea of NATO (probably on the instructions of the president of the USA) using nuclear weapons on countries that either (a) have, (b) are firmly believed by our leaders, military and intelligence authorities to have, (c) are rumored to have, or (d) that our leaders simply claim have, a few hundred gallons of some toxic chemical.

    It is nuking them with the expectation that there will be no way the other side could mount much of a retaliation afterwards.

    All we would face would be the nuclear fallout of our own bombs -- which might perhaps kill only a few hundred of our own people over the next 20 years -- if the blast were in a far away place and the wind blew the fallout around the world before it came back over us. (There is not likely to be a need for more than a few nukes to end the conflict.)

    The lack of fear of retaliation makes it much more likely that a cowardly leader would unnecessarily use nukes as a "first strike" weapon when it was not actually necessary.

    It also makes it much more likely that a leader would use an opportunistic leader would lie about the need to use nuclear weapons, and make a first strike for no reason other than impatience, greed, or racism.

    In other words, what is being contemplated makes it much much more likely political leaders on "our side" would "Pearl Harbor" the other side.

  77. Keith T

    @anonymous -- ever hear of the Monroe Doctrine?

    The US most certainly did not agree to stay out of other countries affairs. Rather, the USA said it would stay out of European affairs so long as European countries let the USA do what it wanted in North and South America.

  78. Keith T
    Paris Hilton

    No need to bash Americans

    True. We could bash Brits just as easily. The majority of the populations of the USA and the UK both democratically re-elected what I would label as their respective cowardly war mongering leaders.

    We may re-elect horrible leaders in Canada, but no warmongers so far.

    We could also bash the Russians and the Chinese, but it wouldn't be fair: Their leaders are not elected by true functioning democracies (yet).

    We should accept valid criticisms of us for our role as electors in choosing our leaders.

  79. Anonymous Coward

    Nato schmato :(

    1. anybody who thinks that nuclear bombs can be justified should look at books about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is mostly women and children who get hideously fried.

    2. If NATO are setting the co-ordinates then the Chinese embassy will be atomised or some huge eco-disaster or both. See "Through the embers of chaos" by Dervla Murphy pages 27 & 28.

    3. The world's gone mad, I'm off............

  80. call me scruffy

    Cut the rhetoric FFS.

    Enough of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki rhetoric. Those were just the last acts of a war that had already become hopelessly barbaric, thousands died in single bombings of Dresden and Tokyo.

    According to wikipedia Nato's nuclear policy has included a first strike option for years... Nato's policy documents are freely available from Nato itself, off you go and find out what the actual facts are.

    Sadly other points that have been made have been utterly missed by a lot of commentators (Who I hope enjoyed wanking the "Oh they're so stupid,nukes are evil" jism out of their systems.) In that nuclear non proliferation hasn't actually worked, and many countries have begged/borrowed/stolen the required technologies... against that back drop a radical review of nuclear policy IS called for, and sadly "disarm and hope everyone is humbled by our humanity" isn't likely to work.

    Some of the men who wrote this document had to sit on their hands (Albeit quite vocally) while Blair got us into a war no-one wanted. They know very well how stupid politicians can be.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Re: Why Bash all Americans?

    "Up until WWI the US had a policy that simply put we stayed out of anything that did not involve the Americas....

    blah blah blah...

    So lets see how many countries has the US taken and control of and made into part of our "Empire"? Oh wait that would be none. "

    Did you, by any chance, sit at the back of the room during your history classes at school? I presume so, otherwise you'd be aware that in 1898 there was a little spat which took place between Spain and the US, otherwise known as the Spanish-American War.

    You may or may not be aware that the Cubans were pretty pissed off at being pwned by the Spanish, and in February 1895 the Cubans started an uprising in an attempt to gain independence. Those pesky Spaniards didn't take too kindly to this, and weren't very nice to the Cubans in an attempt to thwart said uprising. This carried on for a few years until, in 1898, the US newspapers had garnered enough resentment amongst the American population against the evil, baby-eating Spanish.... eventually, the government from the US of A waded in to something that didn't really concern them at all. So much for that policy of yours, eh?

    To cut a long (and frankly boring) story short, America and Spain declared war against each other in 1898. There's some nonsense about an American battleship going missing that fits into this too (although personally I think that was another one of those "friendly fire" incidents that seem to happen very frequently whenever the Americans try playing at being soldiers).

    Anyway, it didn't last very long due to the Spanish not being up for a fight so far away from home. Needless to say, America won the war. However, the point I'm trying to make is that, as a result of the war, Spain was forced to concede all claim to Cuba, ceded Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States, and transferred sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States for $20,000,000. This victory was also what led to America being considered a "world power" and also marked the beginning of American governments sticking their nose into European affairs (and undoubtedly loudly shouting, "U.... S..... A..... U..... S..... A..... U..... S..... A.....").

    Just thought I'd clear that up for you :-)

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