Mon, Mar 11, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Pentagon rejects reports of a White House nuclear plan

AFP , WASHINGTON

The Pentagon described as misleading Saturday a published report asserting that the White House had directed the US military to prepare contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the directive was contained in a classified Pentagon report, presented to members of Congress on Jan. 8 and obtained by the daily.

The report detailed three scenarios in which the weapons could be used: against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack; in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; or "in the event of surprising military developments."

The Pentagon said in a statement it would not discuss classified information "nor will we comment on selective and misleading leaks."

However, Pentagon Spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Catherine Abbott insisted the report contained no directive on the targeting of US nuclear weapons.

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