The Obama Administration announced a policy shift in the United State's nuclear weapons policy Tuesday.
No longer will the U.S. threaten nations with the use of nuclear weapons if those nations do not possess such weapons and are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, according to the new Nuclear Posture Review, the document outlining the policy changes.
"This revised assurance is intended to underscore the security benefits of adhering to and fully complying with the NPT and persuade non-nuclear weapons states party to the Treaty to work with the United States and other interested parties to adopt effective measures to strengthen the non-proliferation regime," according to an excerpt from the Nuclear Posture Review.
The policy change also says the United States will make no new nuclear weapons, instead maintaining designs that have previously been tested. It also eliminates the Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles-Nuclear – a class of missiles which have been in storage since 1992, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
But the document also makes it clear that the use of chemical or biological weapons by a hostile state would induce a hefty U.S. military response.
"In making this strengthened assurance, the United States affirms that any state eligible for the assurance that uses chemical or biological weapons against the United States or its allies and partners would face the prospect of a devastating conventional military response - and that any individuals responsible for the attack, whether national leaders or military commanders, would be held fully accountable," according to the Nuclear Posture Review