Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nuclear Forces

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

AFA Members, Congressional Staffers, Civic Leaders, and DOCA members, I’ve been “comm out” with you for the past couple of weeks. My staff has had me on the Hill almost every day … lots going on.

I want to concentrate this note on the negotiations with Russia on the Follow-On START treaty and its resultant implications on our nuclear force structure … as well as the upcoming Nuclear Posture Review – which we expect to be published on 1 March or so.

There have been many interesting pieces published recently which shed light on the subject. The first, by Drs Lieber and Press, appeared in Foreign Affairs, Nov-Dec. In it, the authors argue that the US nuclear deterrent has been successful for the past 65 years – so successful that it has been taken for granted. Further, they believe that nuclear deterrence in the 21st century will be much more complicated (and dangerous) than in the past. Achieving the right mix of forces will be essential for the future.

The second piece I want to bring to your attention was written by Dr. Lowther, Air Force Research Institute. In it the author disputes the logic, point by point, of those who want to go to zero nuclear weapons.

The third piece is takes a different tack. It is by the so-called four horsemen – Msrs. Shultz, Perry, Kissinger, and Nunn. The piece points out that as we decrease our warhead numbers, it is increasingly important to modernize the nuclear infrastructure of our nation.

My own views? I wrote a short piece that was published here on the website of Second Line of Defense. In it I argue that much has been written on this subject … yet too much of it are based on myths which have not been proven to be true.

Finally, I would urge you to poke around on the Second Line of Defense website. It has many innovative pieces that you just can’t find elsewhere. Its homepage is here.

For your consideration,


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