'US considered nuking Afghanistan post 9/11'

'US considered nuking Afghanistan post 9/11'

A nuclear strike against Afghanistan was on the table in Washington in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Michael Steiner, a senior German diplomat has revealed, media reported on Sunday.

Steiner, the current German ambassador to India, served as foreign and security policy aide to then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder at the time of the 9/11 attacks.

Steiner told Der Spiegel magazine in an interview that the US administration of president George W. Bush and vice president Dick Cheney "played through all possibilities", including a nuclear option, Russia's state-run online portal RT reported citing the German magazine.
"The papers were written," Steiner was quoted as saying in the report.

"They had really played through all possibilities," he said, confirming that a nuclear strike was also on the cards after the Al Qaeda attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington.

The 9/11 attacks were a turning point for the post-Cold War world, sending the US on a global war against Islamist terrorism.

The invasion of Afghanistan and the ousting of the Taliban from power was the most direct consequence of the attack. It was globally welcomed as a just move, unlike Washington's later war with Iraq, in which several European allies of the US, including Germany, refused to take part.