It’s time to nuke the nukes.
I mean get rid of them, or at least reduce their number to a reasonable level which would still guarantee mutual assured destruction (MAD), i.e. deterrence, to any rival nation which might possibly threaten us in the future with nuclear war.
Nukes are not defensive weapons; they are strictly offensive weapons of mass destruction to be used only in the event that one or more of them is used against us. They are like an insurance policy to make sure that the devastating destruction is mutual in case another nation is foolish enough to use one against us.
Nukes have been used as an offensive weapon of war only once, and that was 67 years ago when the United States dropped two of them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan for the purpose of forcing the Japanese to surrender at the end of WWII.
Since then, the Soviet Union acquired an arsenal of nukes in a cold war arms race with the U.S., but the concept of MAD was sufficient to deter either side from using them offensively against the other.
By the late 1980’s the United States had either stockpiled or deployed more than 12,000 nuclear weapons, each far more powerful than the ones that annihilated hundreds of thousands of innocents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
These included thousands of huge intercontinental ballistic missiles sitting in silos all over America pointed at targets in Russia; thousands of powerful Hydrogen bombs and long range B-52 and B-2 stealth bombers; together with thousands missiles fitted with nuclear war heads carried by U.S. submarines.
It was a perfect example of military spending overkill which still very much plagues our nation today. The possibility that any of these powerful weapons of mass destruction will actually be used is extremely remote so the billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars spent on them has been a complete and total waste.
Now they are simply rusting and deteriorating in their silos and the radioactive materials used to manufacture them in the first place present an unacceptable level of danger to humanity. So not only were they a waste of money, they are now albatrosses around our necks.
What the hell are we going to do about all these nukes?
Now the cold war has ended and presently the only conceivable nuclear threat lies with a rogue nation or terrorist organization with the potential capability of using perhaps one or some small number of them effectively against an enemy.
After all these years of military paranoia, cold war, arms races and wasteful spending on expensive items which no one ever expected would actually be used, finally an influential group of retired U.S. military experts known as Global Zero is calling for an 80 percent reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons and an elimination of all nuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s).
They maintain that that the U.S. needs no more than 900 total nuclear weapons for its security in a post-Cold War world. We still have at least 5,000 of them now. So does Russia, and the two nations have arrived at a treaty which will reduce those numbers somewhat.
I personally think that the number could be strategically reduced to 100 or even less while our national defense remained effective, but admittedly I’m no expert. The prospect of an 80% reduction is like music to my ears. That’s the kind of serious cutting which should accrue to all military spending in my opinion.
But none of this reasonable cutting is going to happen if the Republicans and their military industrial complex confederates have their way. An earlier report stating that president Obama was considering such steep cuts, has already elicited Republican criticism in this hotly contested election year.
Sadly, this is so even though the level headed military experts say that U.S. ICBMs are of little use against any likely adversary except Russia, because the flight paths from silos in the United States all pass over or near Russia and could trigger a response from Russia's massive arsenal.
Nuclear weapons have no role in major security threats of the 21st century, such as terrorism, the experts say. A 2010 nuclear policy review by the Pentagon said the U.S. nuclear arsenal also is "poorly suited" to deal with challenges posed by "unfriendly regimes seeking nuclear weapons" -- an apparent reference to Iran.
Responsible cuts in nuclear forces by the United States and Russia could open the way for the two countries for arms control talks with other countries, including China say these experts. "There is no conceivable situation in the contemporary world in which it would be in either country's national security interest to initiate a nuclear attack against the other side," their report says.
And they estimate that the cuts would save the U.S. $100 billion over a decade.
But the Pentagon isn’t seriously interested in cutting military spending. Even now, defense secretary Panetta is begging Congress for a more powerful bomb after acknowledging that the largest bomb we possess, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, is not capable of destroying Iran's most heavily fortified underground facilities.
"We've long said we need the capability these weapons will provide us," Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman said. "We're committed to their development and comfortable that they will contribute to all the capabilities our military can bring to bear against hardened targets."
Last November, Kirby said the new weapon, or "bunker busting bomb," would give the U.S. "a far greater capability to reach and destroy an enemy's weapons of mass destruction that are located in well protected underground facilities to a magnitude far greater than we have now." But he denied then that the bombs were designed to target Iran, the only country known to have buried its nuclear weapons.
Now, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta "acknowledges shortcomings in the development of the weapon," according to a senior U.S. defense official. The request for a more powerful bomb is part of contingency planning for a possible strike against Iran's nuclear program.
I say it’s high time to stop the reckless military spending on wasteful projects like this one.
t’s time to cut military spending to the bone leaving only that which is necessary to defend our nation.
Responsible reduction of the current deficit and $16 trillion in national debt should rightfully start with military spending which has spiraled out of control since the end of WWII.
It’s time to nuke the nukes.