Nuclear weapons are surprisingly prominent in the Pentagon’s new offensive Global Strike mission, according to the new FAS report Global Strike: A Chronology of the Pentagon’s New Offensive Strike Plan. The 250-page report traces the development of Global Strike through a comprehensive compilation of guidance documents, public statements, budget program descriptions, contracts, and declassified military documents obtained under the FOIA.
One of the FOIA documents is the Concept of Operations for the Joint Functional Component Command for Space and Global Strike, the new organization established in 2005 at U.S. Strategic Command to prepare and execute the Global Strike mission. The mission is normally portrayed as a conventional mission, but the Concept of Operations reveals the prominent nuclear role the command has.
Publication of the FAS report coincides with a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Global Strike on March 16. [Update: Hearing postponed. Check link for details.]