Apr 17, 2010
MAD VS. START
The political debate about the "new'' Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and Russia have come words I haven't heard since the 1980s: "appease," "capitulation,'' "weakness," "squander," "naïve."
President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meet in Prague, but the nuclear standoff between Washington and the Kremlin, once celebrated as the MAD Doctrine (mutual assured destruction) of joint suicide, lives on. We still maintain missiles meant for them, they have missiles meant for us, only difference is they want to lessen the numbers.
Unnoticed by most people, 450 Minuteman III missiles are humming away in their silos, ready to receive their last-minute pre-programmed target coordinates and the launch order. At sea, black-hulled submarines are outfitted with 288 missiles carrying more than 1,000 nuclear warheads. And stored in hardened shelters in the United States are 550 thermonuclear bombs designed to be carried on B-52 bombers.
It used to be the United States could hold at bay its primary enemy, the Soviet Union, with a robust arsenal of nuclear weapons. Conventional military forces -- planes, tanks, infantry -- were a lower budget priority. Since the early 1990s, though, conventional forces have been much more in demand, from Iraq,Afghanistan to Haiti and the Korean peninsula.
In this un-Cold War-like world, Defense Secretary Robert Gates (who watched over Minuteman missiles himself in the 1960s as a young Air Force lieutenant) said last week, the new START treaty "strengthens nuclear stability'' by reducing arsenals on both sides and by providing "effective verification.'' A smaller U.S. nuclear force will easily be able to hold potential enemies at threat and "reassure more than two dozen allies and partners who rely on our nuclear umbrella for their security,'' he told reporters at the White House.
Stability? Less is More? Ask Poland how that looks to them right now.
But "the biggest problem of all" with the treaty is that it's a product of President Obama's fixation with "devaluing nuclear weapons" and ridding the world of them. Obama, is "condemning the nation to unilateral disarmament." Our Nation, that is. And could a President with this attitude be trusted to "carry the football" and give the codes, if and when needed? I don't think it fits his idealogy. He's working on the slow plan of the demise of the USA, but given the chance, a quick distruction works too.
The US and Russia can make as many deals as they want...they are not the only players in the game. It's like two old boys who have been going to the gun range with the same old guns for years. They bring two boxes of ammo each, shoot the same targets and they know what the other guy is capable of, so they decide to only bring 1 box to the range from now on. Then comes more players (China,Iran,N Korea)and they have new guns, different targets and are very unpredictable with unknown capability. Shouldn't the old boys gear up for all the new targets and start bringing two boxes, maybe more, so they can remain top shooters even with the old equipment? Better yet, upgrade? If 'uncertainty and distrust' of the new players is the factor and you can't stop them, why would you lessen and weaken your resources?