Before the announcement of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) report slated for early next year, Washington is getting strained over whether it will adopt No First Use and sole purpose of nuclear weapons. Reportedly, some officials at the Department of Defense are opposing its adoption, citing the difficulty of effectively responding to the nuclear threats from China and Russia.
According to Politico, the National Security Council is planning to hold a meeting to discuss Washington’s nuclear policy to be included in the NPR report. The Biden administration is considering the adoption of the “No first use” policy, a pledge not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by nuclear weapons, and the “sole purpose” policy where the use of nuclear weapons is contingent upon nuclear attack, not conventional.
But the opposition from the Pentagon is strong. “It’s not likely that sole purpose or no first use will be presented as options,” a Pentagon official said, suggesting that the Defense Department won’t consider such options seriously. Another U.S. official told The Washington Times that the agenda for the White House meeting on nuclear policy is whether to make a “sole purpose” declaration, not a “no first use” pledge.