Today in Nukes: Our Complex
It's true! Our fleet of nuclear horrors cannot work any longer. It cannot deter a nuclear attack.
But that is not because the "weapons" themselves will not work into the foreseeable future. The "aging stockpile" NNSA speaks of requires only routine maintenance to keep it in tiptop, certifiable shape. It does not need the viagra of more taxes pouring into our nuclear complex to address the "post Cold War post 9/11 national security environment" which requires "an agile, responsive new generation" with "increased performance margins."
The reason that deterrence won't work is that the new threat does not come from political states which can be identified and threatened with destruction should the attempt to mount a nuclear attack. No! The new threat is from loose nukes hidden in the shadows and "deployed" so to speak by individuals and small groups with a suicide mentality that mutual assured destruction will not deter.
Then, there is the problem of failing states which have a nuclear arsenal which could fall into the hands of extremists who are undeterrable. The most frightening possibility right now is Pakistan.
Anyone who puts any hope in some nuclear weapons solution to "take out" these threats, as the adolescent war gamers say, has a fairy land view of the "collateral damage" that would result, or, a total disregard for any life on earth except their own silly little as-- and probably that of their family, friends, church group, or maybe nation-state. In reality, they are willing to commit the most barbaric of acts in defense of civilization. War is Peace etc.
Such behavior would only paint a bigger bullseye upon us as a hated entity, and perhaps more rightfully so for having contributed mightily to the pollution of all life-giving systems on earth. New Nukes with intent to use, undermine any fantasy anybody else might have that we intend to participate in good faith in non-proliferation, and any move toward a nuclear weapons free world. Thus endith international treaty efforts to control and eliminate the danger.
So, you don't believe the "intent to use" part? I have been quoting from the Department of Energy paper on modernizing the Complex. (See Below) "The 2001 nuclear policy was updated to recognize that the premise of our strategy had changed from one of deterring only a peer adversary to one of responding (my italics) to emerging threats." (page 3) Such as Iran, and so-they-told-us, Iraq. It is in this "environment that they want to "upgrade" our nuclear arsenal.
The actual new "national security environment" is, in fact, a world that must solve problems together. The neo-con con game, that we create a "force-structure" to force our preferred solution upon everyone else lies in the dust of, or demolition of Iraq and our inability - through force-- to recreate it in our image. Especially so when our own self interest seems to require finding a way to control their oil in the bargain. And, especially when the architects of the policy fully intend to use the whole process to graft all the profits on firms like Halliburton and friends. The real and effective "nation building" that these folks do is building their own corporate nations into tax supported cash cows.
So you see, the problem is that there is no obvious money to be made in the private sector in building an international system for the control and elimination of nuclear weapons grade material. There never has been much of a fortune to be made in public law enforcement. Nothing like the millions to be made in the war business. And yet that is the only rational means of creating any possibility of keeping us safer in this interdependent ecology they like to call the "new national security environment."
And yes, read "be very scared" about the environment. Have we got a Complex or what? But Drs. Strangelove, Kissinger, Teller, along with Thomas Hobbes, and their orderlies, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, etc. and their academies such as the Heritage Foundation, the Air Force Academy, do not have any therapy to save us. And Congress this month, "slouches toward Bethlehem" with the money. Where are the paladins of hope for a world of international law where war is outlawed as an instrument of national policy and Human Rights are defined and protected. At the shopping mall? Or zoning out chanting mantras? Or praying for the Rapture?
(All Quotes are from the "Report on the Plan for Transformation of the National Nuclear Security Administration Nuclear Weapons Complex").
*RRW: Reliable Replacement Warhead"