We knew of the nuclear underground bunker busters and we had also read of the Pentagon's codified plan to allow first strikes using nuclear weapons at other countries. But reading about it in this Washington Post article is both breathtaking and horrifying, because the article details a little known global strike plan that uses nukes. The US official position is the same, and the Bush administration has said it is committed to reducing our nuclear stockpile-yet not only is that not happening, but the US is developing more nuclear weapons, all the while insisting that some other countries aren't able to do the same. Not that we believe that nations should have nuclear weapons at all, but if the game is to root out "weapons of mass destruction" in other countries, the US should be doing the same and stopping our own weapons creation.
Global strike has become one of the core missions for the Omaha-based Strategic Command, or Stratcom. Once, Stratcom oversaw only the nation's nuclear forces; now it has responsibility for overseeing a global strike plan with both conventional and nuclear options. President Bush spelled out the definition of "full-spectrum" global strike in a January 2003 classified directive, describing it as "a capability to deliver rapid, extended range, precision kinetic (nuclear and conventional) and non-kinetic (elements of space and information operations) effects in support of theater and national objectives."...
The second scenario involves a more generic attack on an adversary's WMD infrastructure. Assume, for argument's sake, that Iran announces it is mounting a crash program to build a nuclear weapon. A multidimensional bombing (kinetic) and cyberwarfare (non-kinetic) attack might seek to destroy Iran's program, and special forces would be deployed to disable or isolate underground facilities.
By employing all of the tricks in the U.S. arsenal to immobilize an enemy country -- turning off the electricity, jamming and spoofing radars and communications, penetrating computer networks and garbling electronic commands -- global strike magnifies the impact of bombing by eliminating the need to physically destroy targets that have been disabled by other means.
The inclusion, therefore, of a nuclear weapons option in CONPLAN 8022 -- a specially configured earth-penetrating bomb to destroy deeply buried facilities, if any exist -- is particularly disconcerting. The global strike plan holds the nuclear option in reserve if intelligence suggests an "imminent" launch of an enemy nuclear strike on the United States or if there is a need to destroy hard-to-reach targets