This week, a leftist group called the “Peterson Defense Advisory Committee”, an organization that advocates deep unilateral cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent, will hold a meeting on Capitol Hill intended to propagandize members of Congress, their staffers, and the public into believing that US tactical nuclear weapons are no longer needed in Europe. By their own admission, they also advocate cutting the US nuclear arsenal, and particularly its tactical part, unilaterally.
This will be a treasonous act, as would be the cuts themselves. Cutting the US nuclear arsenal any further – let alone unilaterally – would be utterly suicidal. And cutting the tactical part would be especially idiotic. Here’s why.
US tactical nuclear weapons are the most visible part of America’s extended nuclear deterrent – the nuclear umbrella the US provides to itself and to over 30 allies around the world, from Britain to Poland, to Israel, to the Gulf States, to South Korea and Japan.
The majority of America’s small arsenal of 400 tactical nukes is deployed in Europe as a visible and tangible nuclear umbrella. These weapons could, of course, be redeployed to other allied countries to reassure them (e.g South Korea and Japan) as well – and indeed, over 70% of South Koreans want US tactical nukes to be deployed on the Peninsula. Nothing reassures US allies more than the physical presence of US nuclear weapons on their soil.
Hardly surprising, then, that NATO UNANIMOUSLY reaffirmed the need for US tactical nukes’ presence in Europe in 2010 and 2012, that the Joint Chiefs unanimously support maintaining them there, and that President Obama does as well – his most recent nuclear weapons guidance strongly underlines the need for keeping US tactical nukes in Europe.
Why do America’s allies – European and non-European alike – want to be protected by these weapons, and indeed by the US military in general, so much?
Because they, like America, are facing very real military threats.
Europe is still living under the shadow of Russia’s nuclear threat, magnified in the last 14 by proud KGB thug and Russia’s dictator for life Vladimir Putin. In the last 7 years alone, Russia has threatened to aim or even use its nuclear weapons against Europe and the US on 16 different occassions. Moreover, in its current military doctrine, Russia claims the right to use nuclear weapons first, even against countries that do not have such weapons!
And furthermore, Russia has repeatedly flown its nuclear-armed bombers close to, and sometimes into, the airspace of the US, allied countries, and even neutral countries like Sweden (twice!). In May 2012, when flying nuclear-armed bombers close to Alaska, the Russians declared they were “practicing strikes on the enemy” – their enemy being the US.
Russia has 4,000 nuclear weapons and the means to deliver all of them with a wide variety of systems, from strike aircraft like the Su-24, Su-27/30/35 Flanker and Su-34, to attack and cruise missile submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles, to surface ships, to artillery pieces, to IRBMs and SRBMs like the Iskander (SS-26 Stone), the latter recently deployed in the Kaliningrad District on Poland’s border. These missiles enable Russia to target all but the very southernmost part of Poland, one of America’s staunchest and most helpful allies.
America’s Middle Eastern and East Asian allies face very serious nuclear threats as well. Japan and South Korea live in the shadow of the Chinese and North Korean nuclear threats.
China has at least 1,600, and up to 3,000, nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver at least 1,300 of them. Besides its strategic triad of ICBMs, ballistic missile subs, and long-range bombers, China also has 280 tactical nuclear strike aircraft, over 1,200 short-range ballistic missiles, over 120 MRBMs, and hundreds of nuclear-capable cruise missiles such as the DH-10, CJ-10, and HN-3. These missiles and aircraft can strike anywhere in Japan, South Korea, and as far as Singapore, Indonesia, and Guam if need be.
North Korea has a much smaller nuclear arsenal, of a dozen or so warheads, and only a handful of ICBMs capable of reaching the US. But it has over 1,000 SRBMs and hundreds of MRBMs capable of reaching all of South Korea and Japan, and some of its MRBMs can even reach Guam! North Korea, moreover, is run by an extremely aggressive and warlike dictatorship led by a young man held hostage by a clique of warmongering generals.
Little wonder, then, that over 70% of South Koreans want US tactical nukes back on the Peninsula, and 66.5% of them want South Korea to have its own nuclear deterrent as well. Or that Japan has a facility capable of producing enough plutonium for 3,600 nuclear weapons in a year if need be.
America’s Middle Eastern allies, meanwhile, are increasingly worried by the progress of Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, which the recent Munich-style deal will not even slow down, let alone stop. It codifies Iran’s purported “right” to enrich uranium and contains NO restrictions on its ballistic missiles! Again, unless the US is prepared and willing to carry out massive, crippling bombings of Iran, it has no choice but to provide a credible nuclear umbrella to its Middle Eastern allies – and for that, tactical as well as strategic nuclear weapons are needed.
And the cost, which the PDAC and other leftist groups complain about? The cost of stationing the weapons abroad – the aircraft, bases, and maintenance – are covered by NATO allies. As for the cost of the warheads themselves, modernizing and prolonging the service life of the B61 tactical nuclear bomb will cost only 10 billion over the next decade – i.e. 1 billion per year, out of an annual military budget of 607 bn.
It is utterly false and ridiculous to claim the US cannot afford to invest just one billion dollars a year to maintain and modernize the most crucial part of its nuclear deterrent – that which constitutes its extended nuclear umbrella for its allies, reassures those allies, and is also the main armament of America’s own strategic bombers.
Shame on the PDAC and other leftist groups, as well as the Democrats, for lying so blatantly about US nuclear weapons and advocating unilateral cuts in these. They are traitors.