Letter to Online Defense: some observations on "Nuclear war: it may surprise, but ..."


Dear Director good morning, I read the article with interest "Nuclear war: it may surprise you, but the law states that ... (the Rome simulation)" of the lawyer Marco Valerio Verni. An article full of information especially for the aspects connected with international law.

I have found, in my opinion, some inaccuracies relating to the categorization of nuclear weapons and the simulation of an explosion over Rome.

1. An Established US Cold War Distinction (Attachment 1) distinguished nuclear weapons based on their use in:

Strategic: category of long-range weapons generally intended to attack the territory (homeland) of the enemy or to protect one's own territory (homeland);

of Theatre: all other nuclear weapons intended for use in region-wide planning and operations where the intent is not just surprise or tactical advantage, but the destruction of sensitive "targets" (bases and supporting infrastructure) providing reinforcements to units operating on the "battlefield";

Tactics: those "Theater" weapons (also called short-range and battlefield weapons) which have the purpose of directly influencing the conduct of a maneuver or the outcome of a battle.

Theater and Tactics weapons are considered non-strategic (Attachment 2).

2. Based on this classification, I believe that the nuclear bomb used for the simulation on Rome (taken from the Sky TG24 website) should not be considered "Tactical" but more likely "Strategic", taking into account the nature of the objective and the purpose in the use of a tactical weapon.


George Battisti 


Dear general, in fact the main interest of that article concerns - as you rightly underlined - international law.

As far as the classification is concerned, he is absolutely right and the author himself had stated that he had taken the data and the setting of the same from the channel he mentioned. The fault is therefore mine, since the same lawyer Verni, recalling the study carried out last year with some of his colleagues (see video "Fifa nuclear: justified or instrumental?"), has rightly omitted other categorizations (e.g. by power) which would have been improper.

Thank you for your letter and the documents you shared. They represent a valuable lesson for all readers. Starting with the undersigned...

Andrea Cucco

Photo: nukemap