US declassifies Cold War nuclear policy document

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Washington, Sep 18: The US National Security Archive has declassified the highly controversial nuclear policy document belonging to the Cold War era, the Presidential Directive (PD-59), which had stressed a possible nuclear warfare with the erstwhile Soviet Union.

The full text of the document, which has been made available on the US National Security Archive web page, throws light on the US officials' stand on nuclear planning and execution of events in case there was a real war breaking out. The PD-59, called the 'Nuclear Weapons Employment Policy', was signed by President Jummy Carter on July 25, 1980, wanted to provide the US Presidents flexibility in planning and executing a nuclear war, the document said.

The PD-59 spoke in favour of a pre-planned nuclear strike option for rapid development of target plans against important target categories like 'military and control targets', including nuclear forces, command and control, industrial facilities and others, said a report published in The Times of India on Tuesday.

One of the key feature of the PD-59 was using high-tech intelligence to find nuclear weapons targets. Strike them and assess the damage caused. The architects of PD-59 thought of a protracted nuclear war. It was also learnt that the US nuclear doctrine did not change much since the PD-59 days.

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