31 January 2004
Preventing Nuclear Armageddon
Francis A. Boyle

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the impoverishment of Russia leaving the United States as the world's "only superpower" or "hyperpower," we are getting to the point, if we are not there already, where only the United States has the capability to launch an offensive first-strike strategic nuclear weapons attack upon any adversary. For that precise reason, deploying the so-called "national missile defense" (NMD) has become a critical objective of the Bush Jr. administration. NMD is not really needed to shoot down a stray missile from some so-called "rogue state." Rather U.S. NMD is essential for taking out any residual Russian or Chinese strategic nuclear weapons that might survive a U.S. offensive first-strike with strategic nuclear weapons systems.

The successful deployment of NMD will finally provide the United States with what it has always sought: the capacity to launch a successful offensive first-strike strategic nuclear attack, coupled with the capability to neutralize a Russian and/or Chinese retaliatory nuclear attack. At that point, the United States will proceed to use this capability to enforce its Hegemonial Will upon the rest of the world. Strategic nuclear "thinkers" such as Harvard's Thomas Schelling call this doctrine "compellance" as opposed to "deterrence." With NMD the world will become dominated by this U.S. "compellance" strategy.

For example, writing in the March 10, 2002 edition of the Los Angeles Times, defense analyst William Arkin revealed the leaked contents of the Bush Jr. administration's Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that it had just transmitted to Congress on January 8. The Bush Jr. administration ordered the Pentagon to draw up war plans for the first-use of nuclear weapons against seven states: the so-called "axis of evil" - Iran, Iraq, and North Korea (the DPRK could be nuclear armed); Libya and Syria; Russia and China, which are nuclear armed. This component of the Bush Jr. NPR incorporated the Clinton administration's 1997 nuclear war-fighting plans against so-called "rogue states" set forth in Presidential Decision Directive 60. These warmed-over nuclear war plans targeting non-nuclear weapons states expressly violated the so-called "negative security assurances" given by the United States as an express condition for the renewal and indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by all of its non-nuclear weapons states parties in 1995.

Equally reprehensible from a legal perspective were the NPR's additional call for the Pentagon to draft nuclear war-fighting plans for first nuclear strikes (1) against alleged nuclear/chemical/biological "materials" or "facilities"; (2) "against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack"; and (3) "in the event of surprising military developments," whatever that means. According to the NPR, the Pentagon must also draw up nuclear war-fighting plans to intervene with nuclear weapons in wars (1) between China and Taiwan; (2) between Israel and the Arab states; (3) between North Korea and South Korea; and (4) between Israel and Iraq. It is obvious upon which side the United States will actually plan to intervene with the first-use nuclear weapons.

In this regard, Article 6 of the 1945 Nuremberg Charter provides in relevant part as follows:


The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:

(a) Crimes against peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;


Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan. [Emphasis added.]

To the same effect is the Sixth Principle of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, which were adopted by the International Law Commission of the United Nations in 1950:


The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).... [Emphasis added.]

Notice that both of these elemental sources of public international law clearly provide that the "planning" or "preparation" of a war in violation of international "assurances" such as the aforementioned U.S. negative security assurance constitutes a Nuremberg Crime against Peace. Such is the Bush Jr. NPR! To the same effect are paragraphs 498, 499, 500, and 501 of U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 (1956).

The Bush Jr. administration is making it crystal clear to all its chosen adversaries around the world that it is fully prepared to cross the threshold of actually using nuclear weapons that has prevailed since the U.S. criminal bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Yet more proof of the fact that the United States government has officially abandoned "deterrence" for "compellance" in order to rule the future world of the Third Millenium. The Bush Jr. administration has obviously become a "threat to the peace" within the meaning of U.N. Charter article 39. It must be countermanded by the U.N. Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. In the event of a U.S. veto of such "enforcement action" by the Security Council, then the U.N. General Assembly must deal with the Bush Jr. administration by invoking its Uniting for Peace Resolution of 1950. For the future good of all humanity, the Bush Jr. administration must be restrained by both the international community and the American people.


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