Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Like I was saying: Tactical nukes are on the table for use against North Korea

Here’s an exchange Defense Secretary James Mattis had with reporters yesterday about tactical nuclear weapons.

A front view of four nuclear free-fall bombs on a bomb cart.
A front view of four nuclear free-fall bombs on a bomb cart.
A front view of four nuclear free-fall bombs on a bomb cart.

Here’s an exchange Defense Secretary James Mattis had with reporters yesterday about tactical nuclear weapons:

Q: When Defense Minister Song was here, he went back and told his parliament that you two at least discussed the possibility of small tactical nukes. Is that one of the many wide options under consideration?

Mattis: We have open dialogue with our allies on any issue that they want to bring up. We're not only friends, we're trusted allies. And we bring up all issues with one another.

Here’s an exchange Defense Secretary James Mattis had with reporters yesterday about tactical nuclear weapons:

Q: When Defense Minister Song was here, he went back and told his parliament that you two at least discussed the possibility of small tactical nukes. Is that one of the many wide options under consideration?

Mattis: We have open dialogue with our allies on any issue that they want to bring up. We’re not only friends, we’re trusted allies. And we bring up all issues with one another.

Q: Sir, there’s a chance that small tactical nukes might be redeployed to the Korean peninsula?

Mattis: No, I said that we discussed the option. But that’s all the further I want to say.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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