When is enough, enough?
According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in 2004 the United States had 10,000 nuclear warheads, 7,000 of which were operational. Yet existing in a realm of thought where logic ceases to exist, America's leaders are obsessed with "national security ". The United States accounts for half of the world 's military expenditures to protect 350 million of the 6.5 billion people on Earth.
With over 500 land-based ICBMs, the United States can incinerate any region of a 4.5 billion year old planet within a mere 35 minutes. The Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles are only one leg of America 's triad of doom. Submarine-based Trident nuclear missiles have the capacity to unleash Armageddon from the depths of the Earth 's tranquil oceans. Maintaining a fleet of B-1, B-2, and B-52 long-range bombers, the USAF can also rain nuclear hell upon millions of unsuspecting "units of collateral damage ".
Desperation and treachery are the parents of US nuclear invention
Realizing that the "Nuclear Club " is rapidly expanding, the United States is desperately seeking ways to circumvent treaties in which they have pledged to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. As they down-sized their nuclear stock-pile in the 1990 's by retiring ICBM 's like the Peacekeeper, America 's leadership found ways to avoid truly surrendering its tools of terror.
The United States began diverting substantial portions of its obscene defense budget to its Stockpile Stewardship Program to perpetuate and expand its nuclear capacities. Consider this 1996 statement by the Department of Energy:
"[n]ational security policies in the post-Cold War era require that all historical capabilities of the weapons laboratories, industrial plants, and NTS [the Nevada Test Site] be maintained," and that "denuclearisation... is not feasible based on current national security policy."
With the ethereal nuclear genie slipping further from its grasp, the United States is now focusing its resources and determined efforts toward ensuring nuclear proliferation to those it deems deserving. Israel, the US satellite in the Middle East, and India, a nation Uncle Sam is determined to lure into his bed, both qualify. Iran and North Korea are obviously not welcome at the nuclear party, whether they apply the technology for military purposes or not.
On the domestic front, America 's bellicose government is emphasizing the enhancement of existing nuclear weapons to give the appearance that it is not developing new ones. For example, the B61-11 is a modification of the B61, a "tactical nuke " which "only " has 2/3 the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. To neutralize nations which have developed weapons facilities deep underground, America created the B61-11 to burrow into rock before discharging its nuclear payload. America 's Neocons are itching to play with their new toys in Iran.
The Pentagon claims that these "bunker busters " would pose no threat to life outside of the underground targets. However, Dr. Robert Nelson of Princeton University offers a significantly differing opinion:
"No earth-burrowing missile can penetrate deep enough into the earth to contain an explosion with a nuclear yield even as small as 1 percent of the 15 kiloton Hiroshima weapon. "The explosion simply blows out a massive crater of radioactive dirt, which rains down on the local region with an especially intense and deadly fallout."
Dr. Nelson 's analysis is substantially more seaworthy than the stone the Pentagon tried to float when they proclaimed earth-burrowing "mini-nukes " to be "safe ".
A Messiah complex, severely stunted emotional intelligence and profound ignorance are the defining characteristics of the man capable of making nuclear holocaust a reality within minutes. In light of this, Osama bin Laden, box-cutters, and suicide bombers don 't seem quite so formidable or worrisome.