If you ever needed proof that the leftist, anti-nuclear, pro-unilateral disarmament movement is still at work and still hasn’t learned anything, look no further than this new screed published in the TomDispatch.
In his ridiculous screed recently published by the TomDispatch, the extremely-leftist columnist James Carroll makes a lengthy but idiotic tirade against nuclear weapons.
I won’t even bother to respond to all of his blatant lies, just to the ones made about today’s situation.
“In order to get the votes of Senate Republicans to ratify the START treaty, Obama made what turned out to be a devil’s bargain. He agreed to lay the groundwork for a vast “modernization” of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, which, in the name of updating an aged system, is already morphing into a full-blown reinvention of the arms cache at an estimated future cost of more than a trillion dollars.”
That is a blatant lie being spread by the Monterey Institute, a far-left organization advocating America’s nuclear disarmament (like Carroll himself), and by the NY Slimes, which advocates the same.
“In fact, in response to budget constraints, legal obligations under a jeopardized non-proliferation treaty, and the most urgent moral mandate facing the country, America’s nuclear strategy could shift without wrenching difficulty, at the very least, to one of “minimal deterrence.” Hardcore national security mavens tell us this. Such a shift would involve a reduction in both the deployed and stored nuclear arsenal to something like 500 warheads. Even if that goal were pursued unilaterally, it would leave more than enough weaponry to deter any conceivable state-based nuclear threat, including Russia’s, no matter what Putin may do.”
FALSE. There is no serious national security analyst who advocates cutting down the nuke deterrent to the low hundreds and a shift to “minimal deterrence” – because all the serious national security analysts out there know it would be national suicide.
And the “hardcore security mavens” whom Carroll claims advocate minimal deterrence? They’re actually strident anti-nuclear, pro-disarmament activists: Robert Gard and Greg Tarryn of the “Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation”, a far-left group in DC advocating America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament and deep cuts in the US defense budget in general. Hardly “hardcore national security mavens.”
A small nuclear arsenal, composed of only a few hundred (e.g. 500) warheads, would be woefully insignificant to deter Russia or even China, as it would be completely unable to survive a Russian or Chinese nuclear first strike on the US. Why? Because of its small size: it would be far, far easier for Russia or China to destroy a few dozen ICBMs and a handful of USN submarines and USAF bombers, carrying just a few hundred warheads, than to destroy the current US arsenal of 400 ICBMs, 76 bombers, and 14 ballistic missile submarines.
Destroying a few dozen (or even 100) ICBMs, plus shooting down a few dozen bombers and sinking a handful of submarines, is a much easier task.
Russia is more than sufficiently capable of destroying such a small nuclear arsenal. It currently has almost 400 ICBMs capable of collectively delivering well over 1,200 warheads to the Continental US; a submarine force capable of delivering even more warheads; and a bomber fleet capable of delivering over 700.
All these figures are now increasing, and will continue to increase, because Russia is now building up all three legs of its nuclear triad.
The US and its allies have enjoyed almost 70 years of peace and security from nuclear and conventional attack – but it is only because, throughout that whole time, the US has maintained a large nuclear arsenal able to withstand even a massive Russian first strike. THAT is what has deterred the Russians from conducting it in the first place.
With a small arsenal, however, this will be impossible – it will be an easy target for the Russians and even the Chinese.
Furthermore, a “minimal deterrence” arsenal consisting of just a few hundred warheads would be utterly unable to execute an effective, painful retaliation against the aggressor, even if it could survive an enemy first strike (which it could never do). That’s because Russia has so many missile siloes and nuclear force bases and facilities (plus other targets of strategic importance) that a few hundred warheads would be woefully insufficient to take them out. In fact, 500 warheads wouldn’t even be enough to take out Russia’s hardened missile siloes, let alone other targets.
Pentagon planners know, and have known for decades, that executing an effective retaliation against Russia – even the Russia of today – requires thousands, not a mere few hundred, of nuclear warheads.
And let’s not ignore the fact that all those who advocate “minimum deterrence” – including Carroll, Gard, and Tarryn – stridently oppose nuclear deterrence completely and do not believe in it at all. They believe in peace through weakness and unilateral disarmament. For them, cutting down the US nuclear arsenal to the mere hundreds – to a “minimum deterrence” level – is a mere step towards their ultimate goal: disarming the US unilaterally and completely while leaving America’s enemies free to grow their nuclear arsenals. This is treason.
“There is, of course, no sign that the president intends to do such a thing any longer, but if a commander-in-chief were to order nuclear reductions into the hundreds, the result might actually be a transformation of the American political conscience. In the process, the global dream of a nuclear-free world could be resuscitated and the commitment of non-nuclear states (including Iran) to refrain from nuclear-weapons development could be rescued. Most crucially, there would no longer be any rationale for the large-scale reinvention of the American nuclear arsenal, a deadly project this nation is even now preparing to launch.”
That is also a blatant lie. The pipedream of a world without nuclear weapons was NEVER realistic in the first instance; it was always a pie-in-the-sky fantasy with zero chance of being accomplished. And the claim that drastic cuts in the US nuclear deterrent would somehow encourage Iran to refrain from developing nukes is downright laughable. It’s one of the classic lies of the unilateral disarmament movement: “If we disarm, others will be nice and disarm, too – or refrain from obtaining nuclear weapons if they don’t have them yet.”
In reality, drastic cuts in the US arsenal would only ENCOURAGE rogue states all around the world to develop nuclear weapons, because only a few hundred of them would now be needed to match the US.
In sum, Carroll’s anti-nuclear diatribe is a litany of blatant lies – just like everything else disarmament advocates write. For an excellent rebuttal of minimum deterrence advocates’ claims, please read this and this.