Joseph Dunford, top general, opposes shift to ‘no first use’ nuclear doctrine
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff came out forcefully against a change in U.S. military policy which say the U.S. would not be the first to use nuclear weapons on a conflict with an adversary.
The “no first use” policy has been embraced by several Democratic candidates running for president in 2020, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who co-sponsored a bill in January that would establish in law that the U.S. would not be the first to use nuclear weapons.
But Gen. Joseph Dunford told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday that “I absolutely believe that the current policy is the right policy.”
The Pentagon has long resisted adopting a blanket “no first use” doctrine in its nuclear strategy.
“I wouldn’t make any decisions to simplify an adversary’s decision-making calculus,” Gen. Dunford told lawmakers. “I can also imagine a few situations where we wouldn’t want to remove that option from the president.”