Back to Index

US: Mini-nukes

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that low-yield nuclear weapons may be useful in destroying deadly chemical and biological weapons stocks as he pressed Congress to lift a 10-year ban on research and development of smaller nuclear arms. The Senate was debating whether to allow research on low-yield weapons with about one-third of the force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in World War Two. Democrats said such a decision would signal that the US was pursuing new battlefield weapons, and would spur an arms race. Democrats also were challenging the Pentagon's plan to continue research on a high-yield warhead to burrow into the ground, which Rumsfeld said is needed to deter countries from burying the materials for weapons of mass destruction in deep bunkers (Reuters, 5/22/03).

RH: As a wugwump with no expertise in nuclear weapons, I find the idea that these are necessary to destroy chemical and biological weapons crazy. It sounds like just a pretext to develop more nuclear weapons while insisting that other countries prove they have none.

Ronald Hilton - 5/23/03