Kerry's unilateral disarmament is bad for America

Following the first presidential debate, most pundits have paid more attention to stylistic issues than to the substance of what was said. Perhaps that's because John F. Kerry disclosed some frightening policies — such as needing to pass a "global test" before using US military force for a pre—emptive (but no longer secret) strike.

Equally disturbing is his unilateral renunciation of the essential weapon to counteract underground nuclear weapons production facilities in rogue states, nuclear bunker—buster bombs. The American Thinker's military affairs correspondent, Douglas Hanson, ably described the battlefield realities requiring such weapons. But I would add that the strategic calculus also makes these particular weapons utterly essential for the defense of the United States. The American people need to think seriously about the importance of these weapons. 

The real value of bunker—buster bombs is that if you have them you probably can get your way and not have to use them.  It's the same sort of 'logic' that worked under the Cold War's label of MAD (mutual assured destruction) in the sense that only a crazy would employ nukes and, BTW, we think you Russkies might be crazy to try.  Guess what?  We're not crazy, but if you do something crazy, we will too.  Thankfully, this sort of logic can drive one sane; that's the only explanation for how we survived WW III until the dirty commies collapsed.   

There's an impression, a belief, the dogma that nuclear weapons are so horrendous that they may never be employed; responsible nations must therefore eliminate their stockpiles immediately and forswear any use of this immoral weapons.   Lefties like to trumpet the fact that the US is the only country that has ever used atomic bombs against an enemy; this lets them wield their moral equivalence axe with wild abandon in supporting total nuclear disarmament, equating Israeli nuclear capability with Iranian ambitions, or whatever seems appropriate at any given instant.  Yet we did use nuclear weapons as a bargaining chip during the Cold War successfully.  We spent billions on submarine platforms, tactical nukes, cruise missiles, and who knows what else in a very important game that sent the message that we didn't want to use the durn things.

The left overlooks the fact that having bunker—busters is more important than using them.  If Bush is reelected, the probability that we won't use nukes is greater than if Kerry is elected.  Here's why:

The Bush administration will continue development of bunker—busters to the dismay of the civilized world.  It will somehow succeed — I don't know the specifics, only the ingredients and attitude — in stopping Iranian efforts and changing the hearts and minds of the NorKs.  An unspoken threat that our diplomats will have in their back pockets is that we can destroy their nuclear labs, plants, arsenals, keep, and capability; we are prepared to do so if we can't work things out more politely.  Are we worried about the UN's — the world's — condemnation?  We'll be quite careful about the timing; Iran or the NorKs should think about how lucky they feel.

The Kerry administration will forcefully engage in what will prove impotent diplomacy.  Let's try UN sanctions.  Iran can cut back a bit on oil production and watch the Western economies contract.  The NorKs, engaging in bilateral talks with the US, can revert to playing us against the Chinese, and let the Chinese watch us squirm a bit too.  Can even Kerry attempt sanctions against Beijing?  At some point the Iranians (recall Rafsanjani's dream speech) or the NorKs will provide, launch, or otherwise participate in the delivery of a nuke against a US target or US ally. 

How will Kerry or any of his successors — Republican or Democrat — react?  Without bunker—busters, a nuclear response would be deadly but ineffective against hardened underground facilities unless it were massive: of sufficient intensity and duration to eliminate the source, no?  But the public would likely insist, by a 62 to 27 percent poll average, that something stronger than sanctions be imposed if a carrier force, San Francisco, or even Juneau, you know, bit the dust.  Think of the innocents lost and massive landmass rendered useless for a thousand years just because we took a knife to a gunfight. 

This is difficult argument to convey in a debate and may not be wise for the administration to discuss publicly.  But surrogates could and should discuss the value of developing yet another weapon that we hope never to use. 

BTW, couple bunker—busters with SDI and you can see another reason why the Iranians are upset with our presence in Iraq.  A launch—phase interceptor would spoil Iran's intended gift to the Islamic world — the destruction of Israel.

Mike Cakora is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina 

Following the first presidential debate, most pundits have paid more attention to stylistic issues than to the substance of what was said. Perhaps that's because John F. Kerry disclosed some frightening policies — such as needing to pass a "global test" before using US military force for a pre—emptive (but no longer secret) strike.

Equally disturbing is his unilateral renunciation of the essential weapon to counteract underground nuclear weapons production facilities in rogue states, nuclear bunker—buster bombs. The American Thinker's military affairs correspondent, Douglas Hanson, ably described the battlefield realities requiring such weapons. But I would add that the strategic calculus also makes these particular weapons utterly essential for the defense of the United States. The American people need to think seriously about the importance of these weapons. 

The real value of bunker—buster bombs is that if you have them you probably can get your way and not have to use them.  It's the same sort of 'logic' that worked under the Cold War's label of MAD (mutual assured destruction) in the sense that only a crazy would employ nukes and, BTW, we think you Russkies might be crazy to try.  Guess what?  We're not crazy, but if you do something crazy, we will too.  Thankfully, this sort of logic can drive one sane; that's the only explanation for how we survived WW III until the dirty commies collapsed.   

There's an impression, a belief, the dogma that nuclear weapons are so horrendous that they may never be employed; responsible nations must therefore eliminate their stockpiles immediately and forswear any use of this immoral weapons.   Lefties like to trumpet the fact that the US is the only country that has ever used atomic bombs against an enemy; this lets them wield their moral equivalence axe with wild abandon in supporting total nuclear disarmament, equating Israeli nuclear capability with Iranian ambitions, or whatever seems appropriate at any given instant.  Yet we did use nuclear weapons as a bargaining chip during the Cold War successfully.  We spent billions on submarine platforms, tactical nukes, cruise missiles, and who knows what else in a very important game that sent the message that we didn't want to use the durn things.

The left overlooks the fact that having bunker—busters is more important than using them.  If Bush is reelected, the probability that we won't use nukes is greater than if Kerry is elected.  Here's why:

The Bush administration will continue development of bunker—busters to the dismay of the civilized world.  It will somehow succeed — I don't know the specifics, only the ingredients and attitude — in stopping Iranian efforts and changing the hearts and minds of the NorKs.  An unspoken threat that our diplomats will have in their back pockets is that we can destroy their nuclear labs, plants, arsenals, keep, and capability; we are prepared to do so if we can't work things out more politely.  Are we worried about the UN's — the world's — condemnation?  We'll be quite careful about the timing; Iran or the NorKs should think about how lucky they feel.

The Kerry administration will forcefully engage in what will prove impotent diplomacy.  Let's try UN sanctions.  Iran can cut back a bit on oil production and watch the Western economies contract.  The NorKs, engaging in bilateral talks with the US, can revert to playing us against the Chinese, and let the Chinese watch us squirm a bit too.  Can even Kerry attempt sanctions against Beijing?  At some point the Iranians (recall Rafsanjani's dream speech) or the NorKs will provide, launch, or otherwise participate in the delivery of a nuke against a US target or US ally. 

How will Kerry or any of his successors — Republican or Democrat — react?  Without bunker—busters, a nuclear response would be deadly but ineffective against hardened underground facilities unless it were massive: of sufficient intensity and duration to eliminate the source, no?  But the public would likely insist, by a 62 to 27 percent poll average, that something stronger than sanctions be imposed if a carrier force, San Francisco, or even Juneau, you know, bit the dust.  Think of the innocents lost and massive landmass rendered useless for a thousand years just because we took a knife to a gunfight. 

This is difficult argument to convey in a debate and may not be wise for the administration to discuss publicly.  But surrogates could and should discuss the value of developing yet another weapon that we hope never to use. 

BTW, couple bunker—busters with SDI and you can see another reason why the Iranians are upset with our presence in Iraq.  A launch—phase interceptor would spoil Iran's intended gift to the Islamic world — the destruction of Israel.

Mike Cakora is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina