Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Japan’s Abe Said to Resist Obama’s No First Use Nuclear Proposal

As US President Barack Obama considers formalizing a "no first use" nuclear policy, he’s getting pushback from a surprising ally.

During his final six months in office, President Obama may enact an official policy to prevent the United States from using nuclear weapons as an offensive weapon, reserving America’s stockpiles for defense only.

Critics are concerned that such a policy could harm nuclear deterrence and embolden rival nations. Military officials in the Pentagon have expressed alarm, as have a number of US allies, including the only nation to ever be attacked by US nukes, Japan.

Speaking to Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his concerns.

"Japan, in particular, believes that if Obama declares a ‘no first use’ policy, deterrence against countries such as North Korea will suffer and the risks of conflict will rise," two US government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told journalist Josh Rogin, according to the Japan Times......

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