The Pentagon published the "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" on the Joint Chiefs of Staff's website last week, then pulled the document. The 60 page paper is a look at how the Pentagon views nuclear weapons, the circumstances under which it might use them, and how it might fight after a nuclear detonation.
The "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" vanished from the Joint Chiefs website, but not before the Federation of American Scientists (FAS)—a non-profit that uses science to study national and international security threats—archived it.
Nuclear war policy is terrifying. These weapons have the power to destroy all life on Earth, but the Pentagon has thought long and hard about how to deploy these weapons in smaller engagements. The leaked document is just further proof of that.
"There is plenty of goofy shit in there, but I should note that it's the same goofy shit that has underpinned nuclear strategy for decades, just without the good sense to gloss over certain things," Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said in an email. "This Administration insists on saying the quiet part out loud."