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Wednesday, 18 May 2016 18:46

Serody: Nuke weapons plan is obscene

Written by  Bob Serody

Posted May 18, 2016
War, Peace, Military Industrial Complex and Politics, cont'd.
Member Opinion*


Death by Arms Race   
By Bob Serody

I was once employed by GTE on a program called MX. It was a solid-state missile with 10 warheads of 150 kilotons each with the purpose of replacing Minuteman as our next level of nuclear deterrence. What made this 60 billion dollar life-cycle cost program crazy was the strategy of constructing it in the form of a shell game. Think of 2200 launch sites in Utah and Nevada. Next, build a connecting road or possible tunnel system connecting all these sites to each other. Now build 200 MX missiles that would be shuttled back and forth among these 2200 sites.  

This strategic program was actually a shell game for the purpose of forcing an adversary to guess the location of each ICBM. Recall the vender who has three inverted cups, one of which contains a pea. After the cups are shuffled, you are asked to guess the location of the pea for a prize. The enemy, in this case the Soviet Union, had to figure out which launch site contained the live missile. Since the launch site was horizontally oriented at ground level, it was impossible to see whether a live missile was being loaded into a 10 million dollar road carrier for transport to another site. This interconnecting maze forced the Russians to either play the shell game and guess the locations of the 200 Minuteman missiles or target all 2200 sites with their own missiles. The Soviets would have to spend more or simply give up.  

Such was the mind set among nations in a race for Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Who could force a country to go bankrupt first? All the taxpayer had to do was fund these programs. Fortunately the program was cancelled, and a number of MX missiles were adapted to fit into existing Minuteman silos. That was the eighties. Fast forward to today. President Obama has committed the United States to a trillion dollar life-cycle nuclear modernization program over the next 30 years to convert our strike capability to smaller tactical nukes with advanced delivery systems. The rationale is the same. Deterrence. But every potential enemy with nuclear-tipped missiles is doing it. As with the old shell game, it’s the country’s population that pays the price tag. Instead of investing in the education and health of its citizens, the leaders are upping the stakes of inadvertent nuclear warfare by going to tactical nukes with advance delivery systems. Both the military investment and the risks of total annihilation are unacceptable.

This brings me to President Obama’s forthcoming trip to Hiroshima to honor the victims of the Japanese nuclear holocaust. I don’t expect, nor do I desire Obama to apologize for America having dropped the two bombs on Japan when he goes to Hiroshima. All he can say is that all of the nuclear-armed nations must never repeat this mode of warfare again, and the only solution is for total nuclear disarmament among all countries possessing these weapons. Unfortunately, his speech at Hiroshima will be a sham, because he has committed to a tactical nuclear modernization program, which is not only economically obscene, but it also immeasurably increases the risk of a future nuclear holocaust. I hope the Japanese Prime Minister raises this question.

Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.

*ED. NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local,regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact SCPA.

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 19:06
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