As foreign policy watchers consider the implications of Secretary of State John Kerry's latest statements on the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons, many people are questioning America's readiness for any additional military action. National security scholar Thomas M. Nichols argues that U.S. nuclear strategy limits the nation's ability to respond to the Syrian situation. In a recent commentary of the National Interest, Nichols writes:
"While we wring our hands about whether we can handle Syria—which is remarkable given how much time we spend contemplating a far larger war in the Pacific with a near-peer like China—we continue to pour money and deep thinking into preparing for the coming nuclear war, the conflict we escaped during the Cold War but still plan for as if all of our tomorrows are yesterday."
Nichols, Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College and a professor at the Harvard Extension School, is the author of Eve of Destruction: The Coming Age of Preventive War. His forthcoming book, No Use: Nuclear Weapons and U.S. National Security, will be released this winter.