The restrictions under which Atomic Annie could be used created a conundrum for military and political strategists. Given Annie's short range, lack of mobility, difficulty to hide, and no first strike capability, what was the correct set of rules of engagement for this weapon?

The only viable military solution was not politically acceptable. Given the fears of a Soviet blitzkrieg, Annie would be most useful in the role of Parthian, covering the retreat of surviving NATO forces from West Germany, interdicting the advance of Soviet troops by a scorched earth bombardment of West Germany. This bombardment would corral the Soviet troops in eastern West Germany, where aerial counterstrikes could be effective.

Politically, Annie's best use was as a deterrent. By ensuring that the only viable US response to a Soviet invasion was nuclear, the Soviets could clearly see the negative consequences - for them and the world - of that invasion.