Report: Clinton changes nuclear Cold War doctrine Web posted at: 11:28 a.m. EST (1628 GMT) WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bill Clinton revised U.S. Cold War doctrine for nuclear forces and issued new guidelines calling for greater emphasis on deterring a nuclear war, The Washington Post reported Sunday. Clinton issued the directive last month to replace a doctrine signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Clinton's decision marks the first time since the end of the Cold War that nuclear targeting guidance from the presidential level formally recognizes that no nation could win a protracted nuclear exchange, the Post said. However, the newspaper reports that the Clinton guidelines still call for war planners to retain options for nuclear strikes against Russia's military and civilian leadership as well as Moscow's nuclear forces. Several sources were also quoted as saying that the new guidelines would allow the broadening the list of possible targets in the event of a nuclear exchange with China. U.S. nuclear policy Under the reported changes, the U.S. military doctrine: * Recognizes that no nation could win a protracted nuclear exchange. * Retains options for nuclear strikes against Russia's military and civilian leadership as well as Moscow's nuclear forces. * Permits the United States to broaden its list of possible targets in the event of a nuclear exchange with China. * Permits nuclear strikes after enemy attacks involving chemical or biological weapons. The Clinton guidelines would permit nuclear strikes after enemy attacks involving chemical or biological weapons, the Post reported. Despite Clinton's revision of Cold War nuclear military policies, continuity remains the key word. The United States will, for instance, continue to rely on nuclear arms as a cornerstone of its national security for the future, the newspaper report said. And Washington also planned to maintain a triad of nuclear forces consisting of bombers, land-based missiles and submarine-based missiles. A 1993 treaty on reducing strategic arms -- known as START II -- calls for a ceiling of 3,000 to 3,500 nuclear weapons, and Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin later agreed to seek a maximum number of 2,000 to 2,500 nuclear weapons. The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. ) 1997 Cable News Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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