As Chuck Hagel’s co-authorship of a report on nuclear disarmament came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearing on his nomination as Secretary of Defense, he repeatedly claimed that the report only meant to outline an illustrative scenario, rather than offer actual recommendations. But the language of the report contradicts him.
The 2012 report, published by Global Zero, a group dedicated to the elimination of all nuclear weapons, suggests that the United States nuclear arsenal could be cut unilaterally if no agreement can be reached with Russia.
Questioned about the report today, Hagel said it was only saying that this was something could happen, but not recommending it as something that should happen.
Though the report does use the word “illustrative,” it also indicates in several places that it should be taken as advisory. The title page includes the note, “Global Zero assumes full responsibility for the analysis and recommendations contained in this report.” On page one, after raising the possibility of unilateral cuts to the U.S. nuclear arsenal, it reads, “These illustrative next steps are possible and desirable for five basic reasons.”
Read the whole report here.