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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Eisenhower overruled nuke attack against China in '58 FROM CNN

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Eisenhower overruled some of his military commanders in summer 1958, ordering them not to use nuclear weapons against China if communist forces blockaded the Taiwan Strait, according to declassified Air Force documents.

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President Eisenhower had the support of a congressional resolution to use force in defense of Taiwan.

Eisenhower "made it clear that the Chinese would be given a warning with conventional explosives before he would authorize dropping of the deadlier ordnance" on Chinese territories, according to the documents made public by George Washington University's National Security Archive.

The president had the support of a congressional resolution to use force in defense of Taiwan. His decision not to use nuclear weapons still left them available if needed for subsequent attacks, according to the newly released narrative by a contemporary Air Force historian, Bernard Nalty.

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