ZeroHedge | by Tyler Durden Friday, Oct 28, 2022 – 03:05 AM
Well, we’re finally there: stocks are officially trading off nuclear war headlines.
Moments ago, as part of his closely-watched speech, Vladimir Putin appeared to talk down the likelihood of a nuclear attack in Ukraine:
- *PUTIN: NO POLITICAL, MILITARY REASON IN NUKE STRIKE IN UKRAINE
Which, however, is more than can be said about the US.
As Bloomberg just reported, the Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy rejects limits on using nuclear weapons long championed by arms control advocates (and, in the not too distant past, by Joe Bide) citing burgeoning threats from Russia and China.
“By the 2030s the United States will, for the first time in its history face two major nuclear powers as strategic competitors and potential adversaries,” the Defense Department said in the long-awaited document issued Thursday. In response, the US will “maintain a very high bar for nuclear employment” without ruling out using the weapons in retaliation to a non-nuclear strategic threat to the homeland, US forces abroad or allies.
In yet another stark reversal for the senile occupant of the White House basement, in his 2020 presidential campaign Biden had pledged to declare that the US nuclear arsenal should be used only to deter or retaliate against a nuclear attack, a position blessed by progressive Democrats and reviled by defense hawks. But, like with every other position held by the pathological liar who even trumps Trump in the untruth department, this one has just been reversed as well as “the threat environment has changed dramatically since then” and the Pentagon strategy was forged in cooperation with the flip-flopping White House.
In a stunning move that should – or rather “should” – spark outrage among the so-called progressives but will at best prompt some very sternly retracted letters, the nuclear report that’s part of the broader strategy said the Biden administration reviewed its nuclear policy and concluded that “No First Use” and “Sole Purpose” policies “would result in an unacceptable level of risk in light of the range of non-nuclear capabilities being developed and fielded by competitors that could inflict strategic-level damage” to the US and allies.
The nuclear strategy document doesn’t spell out what non-nuclear threats could produce a US nuclear response, but current threats include hypersonic weapons possessed by Russia and China for which the US doesn’t yet have a proven defense.
It does spell out, however, in the strongest terms, what would happen to another nuclear power, North Korea, if it launched a nuclear attack on the US, South Korea or Japan. That action “will result in the end of that regime,” it says. US nuclear weapons continue to play a role in deterring North Korean attacks.
So, the brilliant neocon minds behind the report concluded, it is better to instill the fear of a disproportionate nuclear retaliation, thus making an outright nuclear attack far more likely (if the US will nuke you anyway, may as well go all out).