I know that you're trying to catch me being "wrong" and I was being terse above because I was in a rush.
The point is that you can call a weapon "tactical" if you want but for nuclear weapons no COCOM gets tasking authority. Nobody but POTUS gets to authorize use of a nuke regardless of yield or label. If a 4 star can't sign off on a weapon, it sure as hell isn't tactical.
Even at the height of the cold war, where we actually deployed "tactical nuclear" weapons in largish number in the Europe no one SERIOUSLY envision their use at the "tactical level" (or even operational level of war) regardless of official doctrine/propaganda. There are two major reasons for this:
1) There a saying that the average distance between two german cities is 10 kilotons.
There's no way in hell the Germans would have let us use nukes on their soil unless they had a death wish for their nation. Soviet field armies pouring through Fulda Gap or no. Better Red than Dead and glowing in the dark.
2) Soviet response to NATO use of tactical nuclear weapons on tank formations in Fulda Gap would have been tactical nuclear weapons on NATO rail heads, ports and supply points. These are located in or near major German, French, etc cities.
Now we're deep into the "escalation phase" that ends around 30 mins later. If no one else will, the French will pull the trigger and nuke Moscow in response to use of nuclear weapons on a French city. That it was just a "10KT tactical weapon" used on Le Harve is immaterial.
Tactical nuclear weapons were a strategic counter to the gazillions of soviet tanks and a statement to the Soviet Union that they could pour through the Fulda Gap anytime they wished to risk
mutual suicide. They probably didn't think we had the balls to do it but it sure as hell wasn't worth the risk. Arguably they never seriously intended to anyway.
As actual tactical weapons...well, pretty much you get to use them when you know the end of the world has arrived. Yippee.
I read the article and while it is interesting it's from 2001 and note this comment:
It is also often stated by observers that today's American military, while more technologically advanced in certain respects than it was in 1991, is still "not the force that won the Gulf War", and has seen its size slashed too deeply for it to repeat the feat
This has been shown to be untrue. We didn't have sufficient troops for occupation. We had plenty of fire power to kick ass. This questions the basic premise that conventional weapons and increased accuracy doesn't provide sufficient capabilities that tactical nuclear weapons would be desired. Even the author hedges a lot on that point.
The next paragraph that discusses nuclear Tomahawks is even more questionable. No country is likely to ever permit overflight.
No country with nuclear response capability can afford to not respond with nuclear weapons when it detects Tomahawk launches because there's no way to tell if it's going to be a "conventional" tac nuke strike or a decapitating strategic strike with a dial-a-yield tac nuke warhead set to the high end of the scale.
It is far safer just to deploy an assload more conventional tomahawk and have a no nuke policy than a Tomahawk with nuclear sub-munitions.
I can find various articles from the Navy Proceedings with the same kinda "opinion" analysis about various things. Everything from how we need our battleships back to the end of usefulness of carriers (that takes a brave or retired soul). You have to take them with a grain of salt and read them as intended.
My read on the tests is that it is what it says it is. It is capability intended to hold all potential enemy assets at risk. Meaning regardless of how deep you build your bunker we'll STILL kill you if you use a nuke on someone. And we will do so without necessarily killing all of your civs in the process. The B61 is a dial a yield weapon. If we can figure out how to kill the deepest bunker using 0.3KT vs 1.5KT or 10KT all the better for everyone involved.
It's a message for North Korea and eventually Iran when it gets it's nuke.
But use on Iranian nuke research facilities buried in a deep bunker? Not a chance. You open up Pandora's Box. Better to just let the Iranians get their nuke sooner or later.