Democrats do not explicitly endorse a no-first use policy for nuclear weapons, according to a leaked draft of the 2020 platform that crystalizes their pitch to voters ahead of the November presidential election, but they come about as close as they could.

The party platform says Democrats “believe that the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal should be to deter—and, if necessary, retaliate against—a nuclear attack, and we will work to put that belief into practice, in consultation with our allies and military.”

Democrats were set to officially approve the platform this week at the Democratic National Convention, in which the party will formally select former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as its nominees for president and vice president.

Biden, vice president for the whole Obama administration, has cultivated an image as a relative moderate who has accommodated his party’s leftward lean on social, labor, and race issues, but retained some centrist orthodoxies.

Those might, depending on how you reckon it, include this policy laid out in the platform, which makes no commitment to the declaratory no-first-use strategy advanced by some progressive Democrats. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who also competed for the 2020 presidential nomination, is one such party member.

Generally speaking, no first use is when the highest level of national leadership explicitly proclaims that it will not employ nuclear weapons until and unless someone else does. That would, on the honor system, rule out a nuclear first strike to begin a conflict. The policy Democrats rolled out this week more resembles what some call “deterrence only” or “minimum deterrence.”

One version of “minimum deterrence,” advanced by scholar Bruce Blair, who died last month, calls for trimming the nuclear triad to an assured second-strike force of submarines. Those who favor maintaining and modernizing the arsenal as constructed, including some Democrats, say the existing triad essentially is the minimum force required for deterrence.

The Obama administration declined to commit to no first use, and Democrats have not fought too hard as a unit to push the issue to the fore, even after retaking control of the House in the 2016 midterms.

On the other hand, language in the 2020 Democratic platform strongly reflects policy that Democrats tried, and failed, to pass last year as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act: that the U.S. can “maintain a strong, credible deterrent while reducing our overreliance and excessive expenditure on nuclear weapons.”

That hearkens back to the charge led last year by House Armed Services  Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) to slow deployment of next-generation Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the planned construction of National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) facilities to cast new fissile cores for those weapons’ warheads.

This year, Smith put less of a premium on fighting nuclear policy battles. In committee debate of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, the chair supported an amendment to cut GBSD, but he did not bring the bill to the chamber with such a policy baked in. That could have led to a logjam in an election year. Now, the House and Senate have each approved competing versions of the must-pass military policy bill, which at deadline awaited reconciliation in a bicameral conference.

However, Smith could certainly revive the issue in future NDAAs developed by his committee — he’s in an easy re-election race, and House Democrats do not term-limit their committee leaders, as their GOP counterparts do. A Biden administration could spur Smith and his colleagues, or at least those of whom share his skepticism about the next-generation of silo-based, strike-anywhere missiles, to try again.