Free Markets, Free People


Dear Bad Guys – we welcome chemical and biological attacks

I’ve always been a fan, when talking national defense and deterrence, of telling potential enemies what our strategies are. It helps them formulate their plans on how to best attack us without receiving the most devastating response. For instance, our new unilateral nuclear use strategy:

It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.

Those threats, Mr. Obama argued, could be deterred with “a series of graded options,” a combination of old and new conventional weapons. “I’m going to preserve all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure,” he said in the interview in the Oval Office.

Well if that’s true, Mr. Obama, why change our nuclear strategy? You see, in terms of a nuclear arms strategy, “ambiguity” is a feature, not a bug. But when you announce to anyone who can put anthrax in an envelope – or better yet weaponize it and introduce it into the US population via terrorist proxies – that if we find out who you are, you don’t have to worry about nukes, well that may make such an attempt at least appear to be somewhat survivable. And for zealots and other nutballs, that’s all it takes.

Certainly nuclear weapons are fearsome, but their history – their two uses – show them to be just another method of killing in war. For instance between Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the two cities bombed with nuclear weapons – about 105,000 died. That’s a horrific total granted, until you consider the 149,000 to 165,000 estimated to have died in the  conventional bombings of Tokyo and Dresden. Obviously Tokyo was done over an extended period but Dresden wasn’t.

I also know that nuclear weapons are significantly more powerful now than then – significantly. But they come in various sizes, yields and means of delivery. No one wants to use them but that “ambiguity” about their use has certainly served us well to this point. So why the change? What is served – in terms of our national security – by changing it? How are we made safer when you tell potential enemies “hey, if you’re in compliance with the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty and decide to use chem or bio on us, we will not nuke you?”

“Oh,” they answer, “well then let’s see how we can comply with that new strategy shall we?”

Obama claims he would retain the right to reconsider the use of nukes. Really? So what is the new strategy again? Is that unambiguous ambiguity I hear?

He also claims that his strategy will “edge” the world closer to making nuclear weapons obsolete. Will it? What it will most likely do is make chem and bio weapons the next bad guy growth industries.  Oh, and if you don’t have nukes, there’s no reason to fear them.  If you use chem and bio weapons on us – just as long as you’re in compliance with the non-proliferation treaty, mind you – we’ll only use conventional weapons in return (since we have no chem or bio weapons with which to answer in kind).

This isn’t a strategy, it’s a unilateral weakening of our national security. If the law of unintended consequences runs true to course, we’ll see that played out in a chem or bio attack on America or Americans somewhere.

Our enemies and potential enemies need to understand that if they strike us they will reap the whirlwind – potentially.  When the whirlwind is unilaterally downgraded to a dust devil, it makes them think an attack (a chem or bio attack for heaven sake) may be survivable, and that’s not a thought we should be putting in their heads.

Tell me where I’m wrong.

~McQ

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53 Responses to Dear Bad Guys – we welcome chemical and biological attacks

  • I think this all has to do with Iran.
    At the moment Iran is non-nuclear, at least from a weapons point of view, but if Iran should decide to proceed along the path that they currently are headed, they will not only become a “nuclear country” but a “nuclear target” as well.
    The only obvious message to take from this is that Iran is headed toward a nuclear weapon, and China and Russia will do nothing to stop them.  Even the weak sanctions regime is so far lost that it underscores the foreign policy failures of this administration.
    Unfortunately, the myopia of Obama doesn’t realize that he is also sending a message that America has a “weak chin” that non-nuclear countries can hit at will. That “weak chin” is non-nuclear WMD.
    January 2013 is so far away

  • One of the reasons that we have had the “long peace” instead of another world war is that the U.S. had such substantial nuclear deterrence that there was just no upside in starting a general conflict. There was nothing that could be won that would be worth the price.

    Likewise, I think, though it will be impossible to confirm it in this era, that George Bush used nuclear “diplomacy” to warn Islamic regimes that someone would have to pay if there was a WMD terrorist attack on the United States. In other words, you will not be excused for not getting control of terrorists working from your territory or in any association with elements of your governments or factions in or connected to your countries. You will pay. That’s my working theory of what transpired in deep backchannels after 9/11. We saw a little bit of that side of Bush in the way he bent Musharraf’s arm back to the breaking point when the U.S. needed to use Pakistani air space to get into Afghanistan after 9/11. Musharraf himself recorded this in his memoir about five or six years after the fact. Bush meant business when it came to protecting America, and he knew that real fear of real consequences was far more essential than having people take their shoes off at airports. There was more at stake than airliners and buildings in the potential next escalation of mass terror.

    This move by Obama is not just unnecessary, it’s dangerous. It serves no good purpose. None.

    The only thing I would add to the obvious is that this is intentional, as opposed to just stupid, and that it is consistent with other intentional acts by Obama that weaken national security.

    It’s consistent with something that a Soviet stooge like Henry Wallace wanted under the influence of the KGB at the beginning of the Cold War. It’s “peace movement” sort of stuff, and not suprisingly it’s Jeremiah Wright sort of stuff, something all of the Marxists and crypto-Marxists have espoused since forever.

    But it’s more than even that.

    • Obama is engaged in what I call “one dimensional chess”.  It reduces all game theory down to a one-on-one between pawns, but ignores the difficulties that the other pieces on the board might cause.

  • This “strategy” is something I would expect a pot-addled liberal arts major to spout while chatting with his hippy friends in a coffee house (or over a bong), NOT something I’d expect to hear officially from the President of the United States.

    As McQ points out, the strategy is really meaningless.  First of all, if we get hit with a WMD, the president who says, “I won’t use a nuke in response” is a president who will decorate a lamppost on Pennsylvania Avenue by sundown.  Second of all, Imeme makes a mockery of his own strategy by announcing that he’ll reserve the right to use nukes anyway.

    My biggest fear is that this clown will unilaterally eliminate our nuclear stockpile, and then we’ll REALLY be screwed.

    What an idiot.

    • It is imprudent and unwise to view these actions by Obama as non-deliberate and without purpose.

      The other day Mark Steyn commented that John Bolton had called Obama the first “post-American president” but that Bolton had been careful to add that that didn’t mean “un-American” or “anti-American.”

      About which I commented that it is in fact impossible to be a post-American president without being an anti-American president.

      As Americans we have something on our hands here that we are not prepared to handle.

    • Wish I’d thought of this first …

      And shouldn’t we presume that our allies living under the American nuclear umbrella are now protected by the same rules?  Under the old rules, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons were all “Weapons of Mass Destruction”; the US didn’t have chemical or biological weapons, so our threatened response to an WMD usage was to go nuclear.

  • Cold War thinking is sometimes hard to lose.  It’s a different era.  First, the idea that a state would think they could launch a chemical or biological attack without the US being able to counter attack and overthrow their regime is nil.  We do not need nuclear weapons to deter states.  Moreover, nuclear weapons kill civilians indiscriminately; a pledge not to use them (which is welcomed by our allies) recognizes the evil that such weaponry entails.  We benefit more from making that pledge than we risk.   It is also the only kind of strategy that can try to push the world into making non-proliferation a greater likelihood.   Ultimately, that makes it less likely that the real threat of using bio or chemical weapons, non-state terror organizations — would be able to get their hands on nukes.    But the idea that we’re left less safe is paranoia, out of touch with reality.    If you have to rely  on a threat to kill millions of civilians in order to feel safe from a very unlikely danger that you deter already with conventional means, it makes us look like irrationally scared and fundamentally immoral, lacking any regard for the sanctity of life.

    • That’s all nonsense. Just more of your rattling on like a parody of yourself.

      Nuclear weapons should never be taken off the table, even half-assedly, as a response to WMDs. They are the deterrent of all deterrents. They are the reason for the long peace and are not simply an artifact of the Cold War. Any president should have them available to respond to biological warfare, for instance, which is potentially as dangerous as nuclear warfare, and needs to be deterred like the lives of millions of people dependrd on it.

      The one other point I will address is the false implication that nuclear weapons cannot be used tactically in any number of situations that don’t involve civilians.

      And when you stop further development of U.S. nuclear weapons you are stopping further development of more descriminating weapons (for instance, in combination with bunker busters targeting underground facilities).

      The worst thing about this is that it is another signal by Obama to a world that laughs at his signals, which have almost all been signals of weakness.

      He apparently doesn’t care if the U.S. is seen as steadily weakening, almost as if he would like to see an attack.

      We know beyond doubt that strength deters and keeps the peace, and that situations where nuclear weapons are effectively off the table is where we’ve seen the most awful wars since WWII, such as the superpower proxy standoff in Vietnam.

      The potential for major wars has been and is limited by nuclear weapons. And so is the potential for terrorist mass murder by WMD, which includes nuclear weapons used asymmetrically.

      There is not just something wrong with Obama edging his toe into the waters of this sort of nuclear disarmament, there is something wrong with Obama. And that’s a bright line that can be drawn right from everything he has ever been involved in directly to the present.

      • With respect to Vietnam, the key aspect of the war was that we were fighting North Vietnamese forces (almost exclusively after Tet ’68 ruined the NLF), but we did so without invading North Vietnam.

        We bombed the hell out of the North, using conventional weapons.

        We used MACV/SOG on many, many cross border ops that were restricted to a few miles in. Only minor raids.

        We used Special Forces to raid Son Tay prision in an attempt to free POWs.

        But we did not invade, which, using conventional weapons was the ONLY way we could come to a decisive victory. Instead, our method was to use our superior capability to destroy any NVA forces that traveled south–a method that failed when a leftist Congress defunded the war and let the ’75 invasion take the south.

        Why did we not invade, and do it the normal way? Most likely, the answer is our Korean War experience, when China became openly involved in the war after we invaded North Korea. We were afraid of an expanded war with China and possibly the USSR, one that could have lead to a nuke exchange.

    • And here friends and neighbors is the Liberal Narrative at work.  Peace, Love, Dove, Blah, Blah, Blah.  Yep – I thought Otto Scerb would have beat Erb to the punch here but the real thing is way too laughable – beyond anything a parody could produce.

      Do you really believe this drivel, Erb?  Or are you just repeating the talking points provided to all of the folks in the Professor’s lounge.  And just so that you don’t blow my comments aside as you normally do when I nail your hide to the wall, I will even provide you with some questions to respond so you can demonstrate your intellectual superiority over this poor barbarian.

      “It is also the only kind of strategy that can try to push the world into making non-proliferation a greater likelihood.”

      How can this pledge make “non-proliferation a greater likelihood?”  Would you care to explain?

      Do you mean to say that with this pledge, Iran will cease it’s efforts to join the nuclear club?  And North Korea will about face and throw away their new found capability?  Pakistan?  India?  Israel?

      Or are you referring to any other nation state or non-nation state out there contemplating the same?

      How is someone who opposes such a declaration out of touch with reality?

      Or is it your reality that is the point of the discussion?  Or just anyone who disagrees with you?

      Take your time to answer any or all of the questions.  We’ll wait.

      Yawn!

      • You clearly don’t understand the issue, SShiell.   Countries are deterred from attacking us because we spend half the world’s military budget and they know that any attack will be futile.   This does not alter that one bit.  This is part of an effort to build a stronger international coalition to promote non-proliferation, and to show that the US isn’t a nation of frightened pansies who think that if we don’t threaten the mass annihiliation of millions of innocents then other countries, much, much weaker than we are, are going to attack.   Chemical and biological weapons are of limited value in a military attack (and even Hitler realized he didn’t want to risk that expanding).   They are more the weapon for terrorists, who are not states.   Anyone who says this makes us less safe simply does not understand the military and strategic realities of the 21st century.

        • How about a thought experiment?

          Erb said:”Anyone who says this makes us less safe simply does not understand the military and strategic realities of the 21st century.”

          Imagine saying that in 1910 without knowing what the 20th century had in store.  See how ridiculous that statement is? Every option should be on the table and the will we or won’t we question should be ambiguous.

          Telegraphing to enemies (known and unknown) what you’re not willing to do in your defense  is L-U-N-A-C-Y.

        • Countries are deterred from attacking us because we spend half the world’s military budget and they know that any attack will be futile.

          You obviously do not understand the concept of deterrence.  And deterrence is not determined by the size of your budget but by the force of your will.  You can spend every penny you have on Defense but if you do not have the will to do what is necessary to protect yourself, all of that money is for naught.

          This is part of an effort to build a stronger international coalition to promote non-proliferation

          Was there something here missing?  I did not see anyone else on the podium when Obama announced this position?  Were there signatories not present?  Would you mind telling us who is joining the US in this position?

          Chemical and biological weapons are of limited value in a military attack (and even Hitler realized he didn’t want to risk that expanding).

          Your background in History is sadly lacking.  Your point is true to a point regarding the limited value – but only in the military sense.  Chem-bio weapons are as much a threat to the user as the target in a battlefield situation.  But Hitler’s choice not to use did not depend upon that but the cost of defense that Chem-bio weapons would require.

          They are more the weapon for terrorists, who are not states. 

          I agree with you that Chem-bio weapons are more for terrorists.  But terrorists cannot be states?  Here is your fatal flaw, Erb.  Terror states can and do exist.  And a Chem-bio weapon discharged by non-uniformed personnel upon the civilian populace of a western state would be devastating.

          And lastly, “Anyone who says this makes us less safe simply does not understand the military and strategic realities of the 21st century.” It is you that obviously does not understand the realities of the day.  To take a weapon off the table for what – an effort to promote unilaterally promote non-proliferation? 

          Step back for a moment and tell all of us here who has, or who is likely to  respond in kind to this position?  North Korea?  Iran?  India?  Pakistan?  China?  I can keep going but the answers are the same – even the Russions are backing off on their stance of not only a new SALT treaty but a renewal of older SALTs.  So, who is really dealing with reality here?  If you would stop mindlessly defending everything your Messiah comes up with an look at it objectively then there may be hope for you – maybe.

        • “They are more the weapon for terrorists, who are not states.”

          Except for Libya, Iran, NKorea, …. 

        • Anyone who says this makes us less safe simply does not understand the military and strategic realities of the 21st century”

          Ah, yes. The number ’2′ in the year (2***) makes reality completely different from years beginning in’19′. That must be because numbers have such a great effect on human behavior.

    • First, the idea that a state would think they could launch a chemical or biological attack without the US being able to counter attack and overthrow their regime is nil. 

      >>>> You betting your kid’s life on that statement being true?

      • “You betting your kid’s life on that statement being true?”

        Nope. He is nice and safe up there in mooseland. He is betting other peoples’ kids lives.

    • Erb,

      Taking nukes off the table does not impress anyone with our goodness. They have figured that part out already.  The bad guys don’t care that we are good, they only see it as a weakness to exploit. The good guys are currently looking for protection elsewhere.

      The fact that we might be able to use conventional force to defend ourselves misses the key points. Using convential force in a effective manner–Bush’s invasions of A’stan and Iraq, his fathers invasion of Panama and liberation of Kuwait–are expensive and politically difficult. Clinton style 60,000 ft bombing and cruis missle strikes are ineffective. Nukes offer an effective option that has different costs then conventional forces. Taking them off of the table changes our enemies calculations, and alters their cost-benefit analysis. And not in a good way–in a manner that makes attacking the US more likely.

      • Nukes aren’t seriously on the table anyway, and everyone knows that.    It’s an unusable weapon in all but the most extreme cases, and none of those threaten the US.    This is a modernization of our strategic position to reflect that the cold war is from a bygone era, the last century, a different generation.

        • You either don’t know what you are talking about (always a good choice), or you’re just making it up (another good choice). Perhaps both.

          Nuclear deterrence, you mindless blathering fool, has been the elephant in the room for decades. Not having to ever use nuclear weapons is the greatest accomplishment of U.S. nuclear deterrence. But they can be used, and there are many possible scenarious where the should be considered for use, including specific tactical uses on weapons facilities, to name one instance.

          It is the omnipresence of nuclear deterrence that has kept the world in relative peace after the worst century of warfare and mass murder in history. And it is the U.S. that has served as the guarantor of strategic peace. That’s just a fact.

          • What an oversight. I left out thethird component: you’re lying. That has to play its part, because as you well know, Scott, “lies are inexhaustible.”

        • Go look up the difference between a tactical nuke and an ICBM, then get back to us.  Until you understand what you’re talking about, you should probably not be so free with your commentary.

  • “without the US being able to counter attack and overthrow their regime is nil. ”
    You’ve got balls, talking about how we were over extended in conventional wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then trotting in here an claiming we can counter attack and overthrow a regime (any regime according to your asinine statement) with our conventional forces.

    We’re not in the practice of tipping the apple cart over and then leaving the apple cart, the apples, and the vendor laying in the street where we created the whole mess.  WE try to find a new apple cart manager, we fix the apple cart, and we pick up the apples and try to fix things, even if the crazy bastard tried to run us down with the apple cart.  THAT’S WHO WE ARE.   WE don’t just get to go in, blow shit up, and then walk away.  So don’t talk about what we do and don’t need to deter wacko states like Iran or North Korea.  If Iran didn’t factor our nuclear capability into every equation they could be a lot more belligerent on a regular basis, ESPECIALLY with us tied up in two other conventional actions.

    With regard to non proliferation – wrong – one of the smallest, poorest states on the planet, which happens to be a basket case, probably HAS nuclear weapons.  Pakistan, not exactly a world beating giant, HAS nuclear weapons and WE are not the reason they chose to acquire them. You don’t understand the fundamentals of weapons of deterrence – let me direct you to a quote made famous by Colt – Engraved on the cylinder of the Old West “Peacemaker” colt .45 revolver.
    “Be not afraid of any man
    No matter what his size
    If ever in fear, just call on me
    And I will equalize”

    EQUALIZER – That’s what a nuke is for a country the size of Israel, or North Korea – unable to fight the giant toe to toe, they have the device that earns respect from EVERYONE.  If you think for a New York minute that regimes who for one reason or another deem it essential for their survival won’t continue to seek the ultimate equalizer you’re really as goofy as you act.    The only thing that keeps half the tin pots in Africa and South America from getting them is the cost (tough to do when you’re a poorer socialist country who’s not willing to drive it’s people into starvation just yet)

    Owhineybaby isn’t doing anything other than what he does best, running off at the mouth to hear himself talk without considering the ramifications, yet again, of his stupid and worthless promises.

    “very unlikely danger” – you really don’t understand.  Did you know, you can kill pretty much anybody, anywhere, as long as you’re not interested in getting out alive yourself.   You are presuming the act of rational states…Iran, as an example, believes they can hasten the return of the Hidden Imam by starting a major war and triggering the end of the world.   That may not seem rational to YOU, but it works for them.

    You’d think a Political Science Genius like yourself would be aware of such a philosophy in a state that is about to acquire nuclear arms.

    • If you buy that Irans top leaders think this will hasten the return of the hidden Imam, you have been seriously misinformed.  That’s like the anti-Pope Catholic propaganda, utterly ridiculous.  Don’t let yourself be fooled by such idiotic fear mongering.
      Iran wants nukes because Israel has them, as does Pakistan.  If a regional power has nukes, other powers do want to get them.   But both the GOP and Democrats embrace non-proliferation as a goal, and there have been successes (such as stopping a Brazil – Argentina effort to get nukes).   Even the Pentagon and other government agencies have gamed out Iran’s policy, and believe there is a strong chance they will not actually develop nuclear weapons under the right conditions.  The CIA knows that they aren’t trying to hasten the rise of the hidden Imam (eyes rolling).
      As for wars — our efforts at political imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed miserably.  It shows our weakness at trying to shape political outcomes.   It shows a severe limit of our ability to project power to achieve desired political results, and those wars have damaged the country and its economy immensely — perhaps into a state of long term decline.   Better to have a deterrent that says “if you attack us, we destroy you,” without some kind of grand delusion that we have the capacity to “build that other country up” to be like us.     Anyway, others do know if they attack, they’ll be destroyed.   No one doubts that the US, and the American people would be behind that.   We can do that without commiting horrific atrocities against innocents, and everyone knows that too.

      • “As for wars — our efforts at political imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed miserably.  It shows our weakness at trying to shape political outcomes.   It shows a severe limit of our ability to project power to achieve desired political results, and those wars have damaged the country and its economy immensely — perhaps into a state of long term decline.”

        But you just said we could use our conventional forces to overthrow regimes, which would uh, be done to achieve POLITICAL results.   Does the left half of your mouth know what the right half is saying?

      • “Even the Pentagon and other government agencies have gamed out Iran’s policy,”

        LOL.
        Some of us know how those games turn out in the real world.
        An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and in this case a megaton of prevention is worth a division of cure. If it comes down to a choice between the lives of innocent foreign civilians or innocent US troops, I know which choice I would make. 

  • Scott Erb

    You are a twit.

    Just remember that the meek shall inherit the earth, but only after billions have died in the fighting.  Personally I dont want to one of those billions.   

       

  • A policy long overdue.

    Not the nuke one, but this one:

    The United States shall consider a WMD attack on Framington, Maine as a freebie.

  • There is a strategy to this.  Its part of make Obama look effective at the expense of future US security strategy.

    And I’m not talking about looking like a nice guy for forswearing nukes.  Its about dangling a carrot to encourage Iran and North Korea to switch technologies.  However the switch will be portrayed as disarmament to the public by both those countries and Obama administration.

    Its a gamble that it will be well past Obama’s first term and perhaps his second (if the republicans find a way to give him a second term), that these countries will have developed biological and chemical weapons in any kind of quantity with effective delivery systems.  In other words, biological and chemical attack will be the next administration’s problem

    • Yes, this also makes sense. Obama seems to like this sort of strategy…like HCR, where the nasty stuff all happens after his re-election, and some even after he is out of office.

    • I believe you are right and that is why I think the NPR from Obama is the only thing from him that does NOT come with an expiration date. It is the weak-spined, like Obama, who are most likely to find themselves backed into a corner from which they cannot exit without using special weapons.

  • I understand Obama’s rationale here, that it would provide an additional carrot (by removing a stick) to comply with the nuke treaty. That may be true if the regime is fearful of us and not interested in threatening us. But if they are malevolent, they can game this as Bruce says.
    Also, it will encourage the development of chemical and biological weapons, possibly at the expense of nuclear weapons, but maybe also in addition to nuclear weapons. Say you are Saudi Arabia and now you know the nuclear shield is off the table for an Iranian chemical attack. Do you decide that maybe you need your own nukes then, instead of relying on Obama to take some measured actions?
    Now, if you are Syria, you are happy that you signed the nuke treaty but have chemical weapons. Maybe add some biologicals now, since those are “safe.”
    Here’s the real kicker: nuclear weapons are not really that dangerous. As Bruce mentioned, the firebombing Dresden killed more people. Not only are they hard to deliver, they have unique signatures, and are not as powerful as people imagine. Would we nuke Tehran killing millions if a small bomb went off in Long Beach killing 100k? I don’t know.
    I suspect Obama needs some stuff to show on the foreign policy front, and get Iran back to the table. This policy seems too clever by a half, but maybe it will work – at least it could convince some Iranians that their government is making a big mistake. I am trying to be generous here…but is Iran even out of the non-proliferation treaty yet? I don’t think it is. So its not even a useful stick yet. And then Obama back tracks anyways…seriously, this guy thinks words can paper over everything.
    Oh, and to the commenter who mentioned the apple cart. Its true that right now we do repair the apple cart, pay for replacement apples, etc., but one of the options I think the US needs is the punitive expedition. Send in the military destroy the enemies army, find the research labs and enrichment facilities, and then leave the country. (Iran.) Basically ignore nation building and let regime-change sort itself out. Perhaps leave arms for the pro-democracy people we find, but let the chips fall where they may. This is not a recommendation, but another tool we could consider, especially if provoked.

    • Harun[N]uclear weapons are not really that dangerous.

      Yes they are.  Even a sub-kT weapon is going to do quite a lot of damage, scatter a lot of radioactive sh*t, and terrify the hell out of people.  Anyway, ask the Japanese their opinion.

      HarunWould we nuke Tehran killing millions if a small bomb went off in Long Beach killing 100k? I don’t know.

      That’s the real kicker.  In the rage immediately following a major terrorist attack on our country, a lot of people (including me) would want payback of Biblical proportions.  But do we really want to kill a lot of innocent people who didn’t have jack to do with it?  Taking hostages is a terrorist speciality; the mullahs are holding their entire population hostage.  There would also be the question of who to nuke.  Bomb levels Long Beach or downtown Manhattan or Miami Beach… Who did it?

      • Doesn’t matter, it’s the same mind set…it’s the people who fear freedom and wish to drag those who embrace it down in flames. A short time hell is better than hell in perpetuity.

      • Terrify the hell out of people…this is the main thing, if its a one-off Iranian nuke vs. 1,000 Soviet warheads coming in…
        I think you can tell from the bomb residue who made the bomb. They have “signatures.” This is why using a proxy might not work.
        Also, would you nuke Tehran, where most of the anti-regime people live? Isfahan, where there are more freedom minded clerics live? No good choices. Of course, the answer may be the Kill List, which takes the decision aspect out.

    • “I understand Obama’s rationale here, that it would provide an additional carrot (by removing a stick) to comply with the nuke treaty.”

      That might be true if the reason other nations acquired nukes was to emulate the US.

      Suppose Iraq had had nukes when they invaded Kuwait. Would we have thrown them out?
      Suppose the Taliban had had nukes in 2001. Would we have invaded? I doubt it.

    • “Not only are they hard to deliver,”

      How do you figure that? Building them is the hard part, delivery is relatively simple.

  • Hello, I finally found this blogs homepage. I just wanted to say that your neolibertarian network needs an update. Just thought you should know. Didn’t know where to send this comment. Sorry didn’t read the above post.

  • Okay now I read it. *now taking on a seriously sarcastic undertone* I love it when we tell our enemies what our military strategies are. Its great. Don’t ya think? *sarcasm leaving* I made this comment in a political science class on Foreign Government “I don’t believe we should be telling our enemies what our military strategies are” a reply came “but aren’t we a democracy” to which I replied “So?” If I had thought about it then, I would have gone the sarcastic way. Call me old fashioned, but I believe the only place our war strategies should be read are in the strategy room of the Pentagon.

    • Actually, we aren’t a democracy, we’re a constitutional republic.

      • We used to teach the idea that pure “Democracy” was, more or less, bad and emphasized that we were/are(there seems to be some doubt these days) a Constitutional Republic.   It doesn’t take much to get the average kid to see why 5 wolves and 3 sheep voting on what’s for lunch can easily have unfortunate results for some of the parties involved.

      • I didn’t want to argue with a self-proclaimed socialist at the time who asked me that question. I was having a slightly bad attitude so arguing with somebody wasn’t worth my time.

  • Another successful Obama policy being taken seriously. Yep, worked real good,  for Iran.

    “Yesterday some news was published saying that he (Obama) has threatened to use nuclear and biochemical weapons against countries that don’t comply with America and which do not yield to America’s pressure,” Ahmadinejad said in the speech from the northwestern city of Urmia. “We hope these reports are false.”

    • “Iran’s president issued a scathing personal attack on U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, calling him an “inexperienced amateur”"

      Perhaps Erb was right, we do have common ground with Ahmadamawhama pon which we may be able to forge a relationship.

    • Wow. Nothing surprises me any more. Not a thing. I am taken aback at times, but not very surprised.

  • Ah yes, the old propaganda device known as the sh*t sandwich.
    I am not qualified to comment knowledgeably on the subject of this post.  My military experience taught me that there is a reason that even liberal movies about military crises always involve bringing in the joint chiefs in order to formulate the appropriate strategy.  It is much easier for those without military experience, such as Professor Erb,  to feel competent to comment.
    Speaking of Professor Erb, there is something to be learned from his comments today.  Something about propaganda.  The concept is called the sh*t sandwich. The pure propaganda portion of his comment is in italics:
     

    …Even the Pentagon and other government agencies have gamed out Iran’s policy, and believe there is a strong chance they will not actually develop nuclear weapons under the right conditions.  The CIA knows that they aren’t trying to hasten the rise of the hidden Imam (eyes rolling).
    As for wars — our efforts at political imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed miserably.  It shows our weakness at trying to shape political outcomes.   It shows a severe limit of our ability to project power to achieve desired political results, and those wars have damaged the country and its economy immensely — perhaps into a state of long term decline.   Better to have a deterrent that says “if you attack us, we destroy you,” without some kind of grand delusion that we have the capacity to “build that other country up” to be like us.     Anyway, others do know if they attack, they’ll be destroyed.   No one doubts that the US, and the American people would be behind that.   We can do that without committing horrific atrocities against innocents, and everyone knows that too.”

    To make the sandwich, you start with some stuff that sounds like inside dope to arouse interest, then insert your hard-line postulates (the italicized portion above) then follow with some stuff that most everyone can accept as the truth.
    Breakdown of the Liberal Narrative  (italicized) propaganda portion:
    The war in Iraq is a miserable failure. Do you believe that?
    We are generally weak at shaping political outcomes and shouldn’t try. Professor Erb has just cited our success in Brazil – Argentina!
    The wars have damaged the economy into long term decline. The housing bubble financing and poor regulation of the securitization of mortgages did the damage.  Co-opting that damage and artificially tying that economic damage to the wars is the Liberal Narrative propaganda attempt to capitalize on the fear caused by the recession in order to support their anti-war tenets.  We, of course, know that the huge spending on Socialist spreading of the wealth and government union pension and health benefits are what has put the economy into the dire state that it is in.  Yes, the wars contributed, but they were not undertaken when the economy was already in dire straits.
    Thus endeth the lesson.  Knowing the techniques can help you avoid being conned by them.

  • This is what should have been italicized:

    As for wars — our efforts at political imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed miserably.  It shows our weakness at trying to shape political outcomes.   It shows a severe limit of our ability to project power to achieve desired political results, and those wars have damaged the country and its economy immensely — perhaps into a state of long term decline.