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Something to watch
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 05, 2008

During the campaign, Barack Obama was outspoken in his opposition to nuclear weapons in general and specifically new and improved weapons for the US arsenal.

But, what about the existing warheads? How safe and how reliable are they?
The leader of the U.S. Strategic Command said yesterday that "time is not on our side" to modernize the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, particularly as China and Russia upgrade their nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

"The path of inaction is a path leading toward nuclear disarmament. . . . The time to act is now," Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton told an audience of government, military and civilian arms experts attending the Nuclear Deterrence Summit in Washington.

But Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic weapons, told the same audience that the nation's nuclear modernization program was in a "holding pattern" until the Obama administration could review studies that are to be completed next year.

Chilton said he was concerned that Congress had effectively killed the Bush administration's Reliable Replacement Warhead program, which is designed to provide a modern, safer warhead with no new capabilities before the end of this decade. Expressing concern that the nation's Cold War stockpile is aging, Chilton said that "a reliable [nuclear] inventory supports nonproliferation goals."
Reliability and modernization also supports deterrence. While it may be a wonderful thing to have a goal of no nuclear weapons in the world, that's a subject for negotiation, not unilateral disarmament. Ensuring that our arsenal of nuclear weapons are at least as reliable, safe and capable as those of others who possess them and might use such weapons against us is critical to negotiating weapons reductions and non-proliferation. Without them, there's no negotiating leverage to bring to bear. To get something you must give something when negotiating. An aged and unreliable arsenal of nuclear weapons provides no incentive to those with more modern and reliable weapons to reduce their capability.

If Obama is serious about negotiating down the size of nuclear arsenals, and I have no problem with such a goal, he needs to understand that our negotiators should be, at a minimum, on a par with those with whom they're negotiating. Otherwise the chance for real weapons reductions is but a fantasy. Should a potential enemy steal a step on us and gain a nuclear advantage, they're not very likely to hand it back at the negotiating table.
 
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This is where the feel-good delusions of the liberals can put us in real harm. Spending money on idiotic programs that don’t work is one thing. Putting our very existence at risk by not keeping our nuclear arsenal up-to-date is simply unforgivable. The libs just can’t get it through their heads that some people/countries would love nothing better to destroy us.
 
Written By: jjmurphy
URL: http://www.allthatisnecessary.com
"In the kingdom of the ball-less, the one-balled man is king."

The same goes for nukes.
 
Written By: Arcs
URL: http://
I am in favor of a smaller, more efficient nuclear arsenal (same bang, less bucks), but we’d be crazy not to follow the money on proposal like this.

If you were CEO of a company that stood generate hundreds of billions in revenue if America undertook such a course, you’d be spending a lot of money getting support for it, even it were not really necessary.

So let’s just make to look behind the curtain before kneeling at the alter of peace through superior firepower.


 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
So let’s just make to look behind the curtain before kneeling at the alter of peace through superior firepower
Dude that is an altar before which obeisance MUST be made, no matter who’s behind the current...hhhh’mmmmmm superior firepower.

Honestly, it would be NICE, to make the current warheads digital, but if they still work, well nice isn’t as important as say tankers for the USAF, a ship-building program for the navy, and the Future Combat System for the Army.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Honestly, it would be NICE, to make the current warheads digital, but if they still work, well nice isn’t as important as say tankers for the USAF, a ship-building program for the navy, and the Future Combat System for the Army.
Good call, and really, which would be more effective in defending America in the reality in which we exist today, 10,000 more Ranger/Green Beret/ Delat Forces/ Seal/ Recon Marine types, or a slightly more reliable MAD inventory?

I’m no military strategist (don’t laugh Q), but I’m thinking that 10,000 special forces folks could accomplish pretty much the same thing a nuke can, with a lot more precision. We need to forget about nation building, and just remind beligerent nations that we don’t need to always get into debacles like Iraq, we could just react to attacks on our interests by going in, killing bad decision makers, and then leaving. And if they replace those bad decision makers with more bad decision makers, we’ll visit them as well.

Kind of like a big bad group of tooth fairies, you put a bad decision under your pillow (like attacking a US ship), and the tooth fairy will come and take all your teeth as well as the handy skull carrying case.





 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
I’m no military strategist (don’t laugh Q), but I’m thinking that 10,000 special forces folks could accomplish pretty much the same thing a nuke can, with a lot more precision.
MADD?

Because that’s what nukes assure and thus deter.

And I’m just smiling, Cap.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
" but we’d be crazy not to follow the money on proposal like this."

Right. All those corrupt military people are in the pockets of Big Nuke, along with every physicist and engineer in the world with some knowledge of how nuclear weapons work.
What we need is a public spirited organization that will do it for free. Perhaps that is what Obama intended as the function of his civilian defense thingee. We get civilian volunteers to do this stuff, so no worries about conflict of interest or money.

" but I’m thinking that 10,000 special forces folks could accomplish pretty much the same thing a nuke can,"

Take your meds, and stop playing those video games.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
MADD?

Because that’s what nukes assure and thus deter.
Yes, Mutally Assured Destruction is the deterrence against nations with significant nuclear arsenals. With our outdated nuclear arsenal, perhaps we can’t turn every inch of the globe to glass, maybe only half.

I just don’t see another nuclear escalation between major powers, and I really don’t see us using nuclear arms to settle disagreements with smaller countries. But if our arsenal can be made safer and more efficient in a cost efffective manner, I am all for it.
All those corrupt military people are in the pockets of Big Nuke
Okay, fine, ignore the financial aspect of this, if Lockheed says it’s a good idea, it must be a good idea. The hundred billion in profit is totally irrelvant to them, they couldn’t possibly act in with any self interest at all.

Umm, and you think I need meds?
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
All those corrupt military people are in the pockets of Big Nuke
Okay, fine, ignore the financial aspect of this, if Lockheed says it’s a good idea, it must be a good idea. The hundred billion in profit is totally irrelvant to them, they couldn’t possibly act in with any self interest at all.

Umm, and you think I need meds?
Uh Dude...sarcasm????? Big Nuke...Big Pharma...Big Oil....it was joke.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Oi. We’re trusting that the democrats (spit) will keep our nuke stockpiles safe, reliable, and secure. I feel so much better already.

/ sarc

Here’s the problem: people think that military weapons are all simple things like rifles (or swords), and that you can build ’em, oil ’em, put ’em in a rack, and they’ll be good for decades with an occasional dusting. Not so, of course. Libs are worse, because not only do they not understand anything military, they are pschologically (psychotically?) opposed to anything military. Further, they’ve got the loopy idea that, if ONLY we would be nice to everybody AND disarm to demonstrate how nice we are and how peaceful our intentions, then everybody would follow suit and we can all sit around and sing Kum By Yah.

CaptinSarcastic and Joe,

In July 1945, the Japanese had millions of men under arms, most of whom were ready and willing to die for their emporer and wanted nothing better than to take a few Americans with them.

Two Bombs made all that dedication worthless. See the point?

As for more tankers or special forces, yeah, we need those, too. Everybody! Raise your hand if you think TAO or the filthy dems (spit) infesting Capitol Hill will spend the money needed for those things, especially with a down economy?

(looks around)

Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, what we’re REALLY talking about is no new nukes, no tankers, no more special forces, cuts in existing military forces, etc, which is and has been democrat (spit) policy since the Vietnam era.

Oh, and "follow the money"???? Jeebus jumpin’ cripes! You libs just love pulling that old "military-industrial complex" boogeyman out of the closet, don’t you? Yep, "follow the money" is why we are using ICBM’s built in the ’70s, ballistic missile subs commissioned in the ’80s and ’90s, why our Air Force is still flying the ’70s-vintage F-15 and F-16, why the Army is still using the ’80s-vintage M-1 tank, etc, etc. Funny how all the liberal blather about the "broken" military went right down the drain after the election. Now, it’s back to "military-industrial complex" and "we’re spending too much money on arms!"

Bah.

Our only hope for keeping a viable military is democrat (spit) cupidity: if scum like Field Marshal al-Murtha can be convinced that building new warheads or missiles or aircraft will put money into their districts (and then back into their "campaign funds"), we’ll have weapons coming out of our ears. Here’s hoping for graft!
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
"Okay, fine, ignore the financial aspect of this,..."

Okay, fine, ignore the rest of the sentence, about the collective expertise of thousands of scientists and engineers who don’t stand to make a dime from this. Even semi-educated folks like me know that radioactive materials have a limited useful lifespan and that radioactivity affects other materials in undesireable ways, to name just two possible problems.

On second thought, perhaps the problem is that you are overdoing your meds.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
or a slightly more reliable MAD inventory?
Losing that M changes the meaning just a tad...
 
Written By: huh
URL: http://
the collective expertise of thousands of scientists and engineers who don’t stand to make a dime from this.
Like I said, I am not opposed to improving the efficiency, and I in favor of looking at the suggestions that of the unbiased scientists and engineers, but I’m pretty it wasn’t scientists and engineers that recommended us from no standing army to a $850 billion behemoth.

I’m just saying, as I would say about the financial bailouts, and government grants, AGW legislation, and government contracts in general, follow the money, and if an industry that stands to gain props up scientists and engineers that toe their line, be skeptical.

Since when is being skeptical about government spending a controversial idea?

You guys are the first to suggest skepticism on any other potential government expense. Or does the alter of superior firepower forbid any doubts?
Losing that M changes the meaning just a tad...
Is there someplace on the planet we can’t turn into a cinder?

If not, that puts us a good bit ahead of mutual.
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
DocJim, here’s a news flash...the KC-135 and B-52 are older than their crews...they keep flying...at a cost. The W-68’s keep working...at a cost. I fully understand that nuclear weapons require maintenance...more pound for pound than most weapons. The USAF has been seeking the "wooden round" nuclear weapon since the inception of nuclear weapons. this is just one more plea to attempt its production or to attempt the production of a more reliable, cheaper and easier to maintain weapon(s). But the vacuum-tubed weapons ARE working and will CONTINUE to work. Just at a higher cost per pound or month than a digital system would cost per pound or per month.

My point was, in a choice between Mod 14 W-68, fully-digitized OR new tankers for the USAF or the Future Combat System, I’d choose the KC-X or the FCS...leaving the expensive, but operational nuclear weapons in inventory. After all, the W-68’s work...it just costs more to keep them working than it might if they were digital. When their cost of maintenance begins to crowd out other programs, THEN it makes sense to recapitalize the weapons and make them digital. Not before then.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Remember that Biden comment about "we will do something that will cause doubt?"

I wonder if Barrack is going to unilaterally disarm - OR - offer it in a deal with Iran. (A lot of lefties argue that if we have nukes or Israel has nukes, why can’t Iran...)

I think this is a low possibility, especially after seeing the cipher Obama morph into Bush III.

Okay, now that I have flushed my system of wild speculation, I think that nuclear arsenals work even if the weapons are not so reliable as they age. (This is close to the Saddam bluff on his WMD’s.) As long as people think that those nukes could work, they will deter.

And if the world does fully disarm their nuclear weapons, I predict more conventional wars and private nuclear weapons eventually coming along. Unless the entire globe achieves Western levels of prosperity and democracy first.

It won’t happen anyways because Pakistan/India/China/Israel will not agree.


 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://

 
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