September 27, 2023

North Korea makes Obama’s ‘no first use’ goal a very bad idea

Current U.S. administration doesn’t recognize the fundamental lessons of war

The United States has a long history of not dealing effectively with different cultures, and this inability is about to be compounded by a change to its long-standing nuclear use doctrine. The present U.S. administration appears readying to make an end-run around the Congress in order to make “no first use” the official policy regarding American nuclear weapons. Given North Korea's nuclear posture, that appears a very bad idea at this time.

The impetus behind the Obama administration push to declare that the U.S. would not ever use nuclear weapons first is a desire to create something for his legacy. But in a thought-provoking essay from the prestigious Brookings Institute, two East Asian policy experts expose the faults of such an endeavor: for such a legacy would come at the expense of world stability in general and in Northeast Asia in particular.