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(Washington, D.C.)– Congressman Scott DesJarlais questioned Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark A. Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.


DesJarlais focused his questioning on whether the DoD officials agreed with No First Use (NFU) policies. 


NFU is a pledge by a nation to not use nuclear warfare unless first attacked by nuclear weapons. 


“My personal best military advice is to maintain all options are available to the president of the United States at all times. So, I would not recommend making a declaration of no first use,” said General Milley. “It is a topic for which I think would take away an option for the president. Always maintain options for the president.”


Secretary Austin later added that he agreed with Milley.


“Our goal is to provide as many credible options to the president as possible,” said Austin. 


Representative DesJarlais has longtime been adamantly against NFU policies.


“The U.S. declaring a sole purpose or NFU policy would be destabilizing, alienate allies, undermine our extended deterrence guarantees and would have no impact on Russia or China’s calculus,” DesJarlais stated during the HASC hearing. 


In 2017, then Vice President Joe Biden, came out in favor of the United States adopting a No First Use policy. 


“The President and I strongly believe we have made enough progress that deterring—and if necessary, retaliating against—a nuclear attack should be the sole purpose of the U.S. nuclear arsenal,” said Biden according to prepared remarks in the Obama White House Archives


Congressman DesJarlais applauds General Milley and Secretary Austin for their recommendation against the adoption of NFU policies and implores the Biden administration to adhere to their recommendation.




Full video of Congressman DesJarlais’ questioning during the June 23, 2021 House Armed Services Committee Hearing can be found here.