Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Drop the bomb.

I have been thinking about America's nuclear arsenal, and I have concluded that America does not need nuclear weapons. We do not need them because we won't use them and there is nothing that we would use them for.

First, I doubt that the United States, so long as it remains democratic, will ever use nuclear weapons again. I also highly doubt that any other nation that cares at all about the opinions of its populace or its neighbors would use nuclear weapons. The first person to drop the bomb in a war will lose all credibility. It would instantly make itself the aggressor, and the other side the victim. People would rally around the nuked country, no matter how evil they otherwise were.

Second, there is nothing a nuke can do that the United States cannot do with conventional weaponry. If we want to knock out an electrical grid, we have Electro-Magnetic Pulse bombs. If we want to hit a command post, we have bunker busters. If we want to hit deeply entrenched forces, there's napalm. If we want to smash a whole area, we have MOAB (Massive Ordinance Aerial Blast or Mother Of All Bombs). We have cluster bombs to take out troop concentrations. About the only thing we can do with nukes that we can't do with conventional technology is flatten entire cities. Historically, strategic bombing of this type has straddled the fine line between ineffective and counter-productive. In short, all we cannot do is that we do not wish to do.

In short, the U.S. should disband its nuclear arsenal (which would earn it major international brownie points), and transfer the budget and personnel to other, more useful, military ventures.

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