Even inside the administration Obama's proposal for no first use of nukes seen as dangerous
Wall Street Journal:
A proposal under consideration at the White House to reverse decades of U.S. nuclear policy by declaring a “No First Use” protocol for nuclear weapons has run into opposition from top cabinet officials and U.S. allies.The no first use policy was pushed by liberals during the Reagan years too. It was a bad idea then and is so now. It would act as an incentive for aggressors like Russia to launch preemptive conventional attacks on European allies where the Russians would have a numerical advantage. It is just not an intelligent policy.
The opposition, from Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, as well as allies in Europe and Asia, leaves President Barack Obama with few ambitious options to enhance his nuclear disarmament agenda before leaving office, unless he wants to override the dissent.
The possibility of a “No First Use” declaration—which would see the U.S. explicitly rule out a first strike with a nuclear weapon in any conflict—met resistance at a National Security Council meeting in July, where the Obama administration reviewed possible nuclear disarmament initiatives it could roll out before the end of the president’s term.
During the discussions, Mr. Kerry cited concerns raised by U.S. allies that rely on the American nuclear triad for their security, according to people familiar with the talks. The U.K., France, Japan and South Korea have expressed reservations about a “No First Use” declaration, people familiar with their positions said. Germany has also raised concerns, one of the people said.
Mr. Carter raised objections to the “No First Use” declaration on the grounds that it risked provoking insecurity about the U.S. deterrent among allies, some of which then could pursue their own nuclear programs in response, according to the people familiar with the discussions. North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and Russia’s actions in Europe have also complicated any change to the U.S. nuclear posture for the Pentagon.