Reeling from an unprecedented attack on New York City and Washington, the Bush administration considered using nuclear weapons against Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks, a German newspaper reports.
Der Spiegel, quoting key American German allies, reported Saturday that Michael Steiner, who served as a political adviser to then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, confirmed that a first use of nuclear weapons was one of the possibilities examined after the attacks. The story was translated and reported by Haaretz, an Israeli daily that publishes in English.
"The papers were written," Steiner said when asked whether the U.S. was considered using nuclear weapons after the attacks, according to Haaretz. "They had really played through all possibilities."
Schroeder feared that the Bush administration would overreact. Steiner said Schroeder rejected his idea to publish a statement declaring "unconditional support" for the United States. At the time, tensions between Schroeder and U.S. President George Bush were very tense. In 2003, the chancellor refused to join U.S.-led coalition in the military campaign against Iraq.
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