To threaten that we will retaliate to a chemical or biological attak with nuclear weapons, as the Bush administration has asserted, is irresponsible and irrational. This policy is not only wrong on moral, ethical and legal grounds, but in a strategic and tactical sense.
Whereas most chemical and biological agents would be contained locally, the radioactive fallout produced by nuclear weapons has global consequences that would affect us all. The unfortunate victims and their families of our own open-air testing in Nevada can attest to the very real problem of containing radioactive fallout.
More recently , the fallout from Chernobyl circulated the globe and contaiminated most of central and southern Europe. Why would we, a purportedly civilized nation, resort to nuclear weapons when our own and allied coventional weapons can reduce a country and its military and civilian populations to ash? More importantly, why would we want to murder innocent civilians for the sins of a few madmen.