‘Nuclear Weapons: For Bragging Rights or M.A.D. Rites?’
Jack L. Key
Will Nuclear Proliferation Become Armageddon? Iran and that country’s headlong attempts at uranium enrichment for nuclear weapons manufacture has again focused world attention to use of these terrible weapons of mass destruction. Now we read that Syria and N. Korea are also involved in nuclear proliferation in a Middle East regional boiling pot of hatred and religious conflict. Is this the true Biblical philosophy of a world-ending bloody battle in modern times?
American military nuclear strategies must be upgraded and improved from those of Cold War times in order to deal with a volatile and a nuclear-armed Middle East. Comments of world leaders during the last few weeks and ultimatums by Israel have heightened these anxieties and brought more focus to the American presidential elections later this year. Is a quick-strike nuclear war the only viable option?
Must America just sit and wait for some religious lunatic or puffed-up evil country such as Iran to attack us with nuclear weapons and kill hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions—of us? September 11, 2001 showed us it could happen—and probably will. Our nuclear policies must be dramatically overhauled now!
An American nuclear strategist at The Oak Ridge Center for Advanced Studies in Oak Ridge, Tennessee wrote a newspaper article last September that held special interest for me. His article dealt with theories and policy statements by Thomas Schelling, a Nobel Economics laureate most social democrats think shaped the nuclear deterrence policies that contribute to the so-called “international security environment” and lack of nuclear war we have experienced since 1946.
Briefly, Schelling’s theory states the “nuclear deterrence” over the past 6 decades was that no state that had developed nuclear weapons has ever attacked another state armed similarly with nuclear weapons, and this alone has deterred nuclear war. Schelling also advocates nuclear weapons are for “having and not using”. Due to the equalizing threat of mutually assured destruction (MAD), these weapons cannot win wars but only prevent them.
In my opinion, the article misjudges this fact and Schelling’s theory, as well as the behavior of developed nuclear states over the past decades since America used the first atomic bomb to end the war with Japan and WWII in 1945.
The article went so far as to assume that the horizontal proliferation—the spread of nuclear weapons to other states—can maintain the same theoretical logic while referring to N. Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India, Israel and China as those of the U.S., Russia, Great Britain and France over the past 60 years.
It is not only false logic to assume these states will behave as the original four nuclear states, but that Schelling’s basic point in his theory, “get a nuke and permanently rule out invasion from other powers”, is fatally flawed.
That assumes that the vertical proliferation—the building of more and better nuclear weapons and delivery systems by nuclear nations—is controlled, and that political and military aggressiveness no longer exists in any nation simply because they possess a nuclear weapon.
That certainly is NOT the case, as evidenced by the new warheads and missile delivery systems recently announced by Iran and N. Korea and several of the major powers in defiance of existing treaties. The current aggressive leadership and unsettled political situation in Iran, and possibly Syria, N. Korea and others, blatantly exposes Schelling’s theoretical flaws, and is a perfect example of both the horizontal and vertical proliferation problems.
India and Pakistan, the Central Asian region’s two most warring nations, succeeded in the late 1990’s in obtaining nuclear weapons without a whimper from the Western Allies or United Nations, and surprised us all.
Did the two countries buy them or make them? Who provided the technology to manufacture, or who sold them the weapons and why? You may have two guesses, and both may be correct. All the evidence points to China and Russia, through their intermediary, N. Korea.
Unfortunately, the high academic standings of both Schelling and the Oak Ridge nuclear strategist alone is not nearly enough to make life and death judgments regarding world nuclear armament and use strategies.
THE COLD WAR STANDOFF
Only the American nuclear arsenal and the fact the U.S. had used the weapon in WW II combat was the security blanket for the free world during the Cold War, and certainly not an academics’ unproven theory.
If the U.S. had not kept pace with the Soviet Union on nuclear weaponry and delivery systems during all those years, does anyone doubt this country would not have been overcome politically or by war and become a Soviet satellite in the volatile Cold War years of the 1950’s?
During my own military service in the U.S. Navy I hunted Soviet Navy nuclear submarines in the Atlantic and North Atlantic. Both navies were armed with nuclear weapons and easily could have used them if the occasion ever arose. They were aboard my ASW aircraft many times, although never fused. In my personal military confrontations with Soviet naval units in those Cold War years, on every occasion they seemed to find ways to avoid direct intimidation or confrontation with our U.S. naval units—as we did with them.
Perhaps unknown to the Soviets at the time however, was that an American response to any overt naval action by them would have been almost impossible, due to the heavy restraints placed on U.S. Naval Commanders by the U.S. political leadership. Once the lengthy process of obtaining final permission to fire a weapon, either nuclear or conventional, was received from Washington, we would have already been defeated by faster Soviet approval action, which had only one on-board restrictive process, and did not require direct permission to fire from Moscow.
American policy in this regard, while upgraded since those years must be further upgraded to meet the current world conditions, especially in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. The Soviet naval mission, whatever it may have been at the time, would have been completed and well on their way to the next victory before we could have cleared permission to fire and set codes.
We all should remember that after the fiasco in Vietnam, when know-all Democrat politicians and strategists opted to fight an armed conflict from their desks in Washington that killed over 58,000 young Americans, it is the trained experts in the military who are best suited to plan and fight America’s battles, not civilian overseers. While oversight is needed, it is not needed on the battle line.
Americans should also be aware that even today, 18 years since the close of the Cold War, Chinese and Russian submarines armed with some one hundred or more nuclear missiles with multiple warheads lie off both coasts of the United States at all times. Because the political rhetoric has been turned down does not mean that the military readiness of either Russia or China has been lessened.
Nor has our own defenses and potential nuclear offensive weapons systems been completely shut down. President Bush has kept his promises to America and upgraded some of our outdated systems and has kept us free of further terrorist attacks and military provocations, with some exceptions such as the USS Cole.
But our country does not have the air defense or missile protection to stop over 80% of those enemy submarine missiles, plus other hidden hostile land-based missiles, from hitting their pre-set targets of American cities, military installations, missile sites and nuclear naval units.
While it is true the U.S. has both nuclear missile submarines and land-based missiles operating as a nuclear deterrent, some near both Russia and China and also armed with multiple nuclear warheads, it would not be possible to stop or overcome a sneak nuclear and biological attack from either country on the U.S. and Canada even with effective early-warning systems and devices.
If severely damaged from U.S. retaliatory strikes after a sneak attack, both aggressor countries would still be capable of immediately invading the destroyed U.S. and Canadian lands and cities and killing the remaining populations with biological weapons. This may be accomplished in weeks, not months or years. Under the current known political and congressional restraints and our military capability, our combined American-Canadian military could be defeated in approximately one hour in this type scenario. Both American and Canadian populations could be eliminated in less than a week.
The world was simply lucky during the Cold War era that the U.S. had used nuclear weapons once before in combat in ending World War Two and the Soviets knew it and feared it. That is what kept Soviet fingers off the nuclear trigger, not academic theories or paper strategies.
China did not enjoy a nuclear parity with the U.S. until the last decade. They were dependent early on with nuclear weapons and delivery systems purchased from the Soviets and were not then a large threat—not so now. China is engaged in the largest military upgrades in history and has the world’s largest military machine, and Russia has upgraded its nuclear forces while the U.S. has been busy elsewhere.
These facts alone have been the real nuclear deterrence up until now—a Mexican standoff between the three major nuclear powers.
If anyone doubts that honest opinion, then read the speech of the (then) Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chi Hoatian in 2005 to the Chinese Communist Central Committee. He advocates not only nuclear war with the U.S. and that it is inevitable, but also how to “depopulate” America before the Chinese invade the country.
The speech was published on the Internet by several watchdog websites, as well as in the conservative press, and is still available by searching the web (at this writing).
A NUCLEAR TERRORIST WAR?
We should be deeply concerned that the world is approaching the casual use of these terrible weapons. If some Islamic jihadist murderer, other middle east zealot, a left-over communist ideologue such as rules in Venezuela or Cuba, or the paranoid Chinese with their itchy trigger fingers fire just one weapon at either Taiwan, the Navy’s Pacific or Atlantic Fleets, American Middle East forces or the U.S. mainland, then the end begins.
World War Two history tells us Hitler would have used WMD’s in his last days, and so would Tojo’s fanatic Japanese warlords if they’d had them. Castro said he would have used them in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 if the Soviets had given him the fusing codes to fire their first missiles placed on Cuban soil.
Thank God Soviet Premier Krushshev retained missile control until the warheads were removed from Cuba. Maybe even Nikita Krushshev would have fired earlier in a weak moment, no one knows for sure. And for the record, neither President John F. Kennedy nor Bobby Kennedy had not one thing to do with preventing a nuclear holocaust from Cuba. It was totally Krushshev’s call from the get-go. He probably saved the world in spite of the Kennedys’ stubborness.
Now the Chinese communists tell us they will use nuclear weapons against us if America interferes in their solving of the “Taiwan Question”. Russia recently reverted to a hard line stance over U.S. defense missile plans in Europe, and has threatened to re-target their missiles at us. Iran and North Korea are both posturing with their missiles and possible nuclear weapons capability, and daring the world to stop them. Terrorist cells are always a threat
The loony tunes leaders of Iran and N. Korea may not yet have a weapon, but are almost certainly making them. So what makes the great liberal thinkers and writers of today so sure we can trust other opponents such as these now?
Are they so naïve as to think N. Korea and China are being forthright and truthful? That Russia has disarmed? That the Middle East is a peaceful brotherhood of countries? That the current religious idiot and loose cannon heading up Iran wouldn’t use any weapon or kill any person to achieve his goals? That Osama Bin Laden wouldn’t use a nuclear device on America if he could find one? Or even buy one? And who is to say terrorist plans are not already underway and that nuclear strikes could occur now?
If Democrat President Bill Clinton had shown some guts in the 1990’s after the initial Islamic terrorist attacks on America we might have prevented 9/11 and the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts altogether and saved over 7,000 American civilian and military lives.
Millions of innocents died before and during the two world wars, and before the world and their own state-supported falsehoods and failures finally stopped the Sino-Soviet march of communism. Do we want millions more to die before we as a country rise up and stop the nuclear weapons progression and world terrorism dead in it’s tracks? Attacking and destroying Iran now could quite possibly save the rest of the world from destruction at a later time.
We can no longer wait to be attacked and killed first, as in 1941 and 2001, and then retaliate automatically as we have in the past. With nuclear weapons we would lose millions dead in a single attack—and possibly the ability to retaliate successfully—and we could lose a nuclear war, our country and many more millions of our citizens.
America must have a first-strike strategy, just as it’s enemies do—and the world should know it and be forewarned.
TERRORISM AND AMERICAN POLITICS
President Bush has been hampered and obstructed from quickly handling the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts by American liberal politicians, biased media, leftist academics, anti-war fanatics, uninformed no-win policy makers and lack of solid intelligence.
We should remember the American military defeated Iraq in two weeks, and only after the U.S. mainstream media empires embraced the Iraqi insurgency did it flourish. America’s runaway socialist media has used the terrorist war crisis and the horror of 9/11 for their own selfish purposes, just as Osama Bin-laden and his deputies predicted almost 7 years ago—when they said publicly American TV and newspapers would make them a winner.
The great American media empires of newspapers, the New York Times, Washington Post and others, press agencies such as the Associated Press and major TV networks like ABC, CNN, CBS and NBC have been re-formed since 9/11 and the election of President Bush.
Their mission now is to harass the government, provide anti-war propaganda, progressively change national policy, politics, education, and religion and obliterate cultural origins. Reporting the news truthfully and without bias is no longer a multi-media function.
Now mass media is full of glee as Congress mulls passing a “Shield Law” that would ban U.S. judges from using their power to extract news sources—true or untrue- -from reporters and editors and TV news producers. For the first time in our history, the public will be censored from ever knowing the truth. The so-called “Fairness Doctrine” will further empower the socialist press and shut down free and open radio reporting.
These media-programmed changes in our democratic life principles are taking place from small cities and towns to large metropolitan areas. Are you aware your city or town newspaper is no longer owned locally? Did you know your local TV station and newspaper are probably owned by the same media giant? That you see, read and hear only what they prepare for you—along with their views, biases and political leanings, day after day, week after week, year after year, generation after generation and so on?
Movie and TV moguls and liberal magazines such as TIME, NEWSWEEK and the NEW YORKER spew out hatred of our governmental institutions, our armed forces and prey on the minds of young adults on a daily basis. Our schools and colleges are organized with rewritten history that portrays America as a failing, racist and war-mongering country while preaching a “social-progressive” curriculum and poisoning our children’s minds.
Our great universities turn out teachers, journalists, doctors and lawyers that have been taught by academics and professors who openly teach socialism and communism as their ideal societies. Our Christian religion and its teachings are ridiculed and our cultural values belittled by leftist politicians sitting in the power chairs of America.
Just this weekend of August 1, 2008 a parade and mass demonstration was held in New York City that called the USA the “world’s aggressor” and aligned President Bush with Napoleon and Hitler as the world’s “most hated dictators.” This happened in our own country by foreigners and Islamists who entered freely! And they were protected by our own police forces! Where else but in America?
President Bush’s War on Terror’s military policies do have flaws—all combat policies do—but thank God we have a man such as George W. Bush who took it personally when we were viciously attacked that fateful day in September 2001 when 3,000 defenseless American men, women and children were murdered at their jobs by cowardly Muslim fanatics.
The President has kept the Islamic killers at bay, and enemy leaders confused and in disarray by showing them everyday we DO indeed carry a big stick, and will walk softly only until being tread upon—and will still fight the good fight—for the time being, at least.
Even with many hardened enemies in the media and in Congress, the President has presided over 7 years of the greatest American prosperity the world has ever seen. And all that while fighting a 6-year War on Terror in two foreign countries and keeping America free from further terrorist attacks—and it seems the country hates him for it.
History will record Mr. Bush as one of our greatest presidents, but his approval rating on leaving office next January is one of the lowest in history. The Democrat Congress record is even worse.
Bush has defeated an evil dictator in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan and faced down N. Korea and Iran. He is building new American missile defenses in Europe and the Pacific Rim. President George Bush has given “Homeland Security” a new meaning and globalized the fight against international terrorism. He alone held the country together after 9/11, and single handedly kept us from engaging in a nuclear catastrophe in the Middle East after the killings in New York and Washington.
Could we trust socialist democrats Hillary Clinton or B. Hussein Obama to do the same? Trust liberal quitters and “progressives”such as Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry or Nancy Pelosi to determine national policy? I don’t think so.
Defeatist policies, socialist principles and weak government will get many more American innocents killed in this mean and dangerous world we live in. We must have a sound, but formidable military strategy and effective nuclear policies, not a quick-draw, shoot from the hip fragmented design implemented by showy politicians with no military experience such as was employed by two Democrat presidents during the Vietnam conflict.
Misjudging the use of weapons of mass destruction by evil and power-mad countries and Islamic terrorist organizations will destroy the world as we know it—and all in the blink of an eye.
Jack L. Key, Ph.D
Jack L. Key, Ph.D. is a retired healthcare professional and a veteran of U.S. Navy aviation. He is the author of “Gideon’s Trumpet” a parallel of peace and war in the 21st century, and also writes political commentary for both print and electronic media. http://www.authorsden.com/jackkey