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USA’s outdated ineffective nuclear weapons strategy

Time to fix our seriously misaligned nuclear strategy, THE HILL, By Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.), and Matthew Wallin – 05/31/13  In anticipation of the G8 summit next month, we can expect serious discussion to be held about how to address today’s nuclear threats, including proliferation, the risks posed by the Iranian nuclear program and North Korean provocations.

As we have seen over the past 12 years, should a military response be deemed necessary to meet these threats, the U.S. has demonstrated itself to be the most effective practitioner of symmetric warfare the world has ever seen — but addressing asymmetric challenges has proven significantly more difficult.

Our experiences have shown that the biggest threats to our warriors have not been other armies, but IEDs; the biggest threats to our ships have not been big navies, but small boats and missiles. And today, the biggest threats to our nuclear security are asymmetric as well.

Despite this, and more than two decades after the end of the Cold War, we still maintain a vastly oversized nuclear arsenal designed to destroy a country 185 times the size of North Korea. This strategic misalignment leaves an enormous gap in our ability to counter modern nuclear threats. The more than 1,500 deployed nuclear weapons currently in our arsenal may have been historically effective in deterring a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union, but this arsenal has done nothing to deter the ongoing proliferation of such weapons.

While we continue to have political disagreements with Russia, we both agree that maintaining massive nuclear arsenals no longer holds the strategic utility it did decades ago. The situation is ripe for change.

We should therefore seize this prime opportunity and realign our nuclear strategy to counter adversaries that pose real nuclear threats. Thus far we are making the grave mistake of not adapting, for example, this year, the administration’s budget request oddly increases funding for nuclear weapons by 17 percent — a choice that does nothing to neutralize the actual capabilities of our adversaries.

So what should a properly aligned nuclear strategy look like?……..

And finally, we must continue to work with Russia and other countries in order to reduce the enormous size and expense of our nuclear arsenals, thereby allowing us to redistribute those funds to the tools and programs designed to address real and potential threats. It certainly makes more sense than throwing money away to counter a security challenge that no longer exists.:

June 1, 2013 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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