Spending More On Nukes: STRATCOM’s Nuclear Death Wish

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Being sufficiently able at your job is a good thing. But
beware the trappings of zeal. When it comes to the business
of retaining an inventory for humanity’s annihilation, the
zealous should be kept away. But there Admiral Charles
Richard was in April this year, with his siren calls, urging
the US Senate to consider a simple proposition.
“Sustainment of modernization of our modern nuclear forces
… has transitioned from something we should do, to
something we must do.” As Commander of the United States
Strategic Command (STRATCOM), he was aching to impress the
Senate Committee on Armed Services that the nuclear
deterrent was there to be polished and improved.

Much
of his address as part of the Posture Statement Review
should be treated as the conventional lunacy that comes with
that cretin-crusted field known as nuclear deterrence.
“Peace is our profession” remains the somewhat obscene
motto of STRATCOM, and it is a peace kept by promising the
potential extinction of the human species.

For the
Admiral, strategic deterrence is the holy of holies. If it
fails, “we are prepared to deliver a decisive response,
decisive in every possible way.” This decisiveness will be
achieved “with a modern resilient, equipped, and trained
combatant-ready force.” To avoid the failure of such
deterrence also required revisiting “a critical forgotten
lesson that deterrence operates continuously from
peacetime, through the gray zone, worldwide, across all
domains, and into conflict
” [Richard’s
emphasis].

The fate of the US (Richard humourlessly
calls it safety and security) is indelibly linked to an
“effective nuclear triad; a reliable and modern nuclear
command, control and communications (NC3) architecture; and
a responsive nuclear weapons
infrastructure.”

Deterrence is a fetish, an idol.
“Strategic deterrence,” he explained, “is the
foundation of our national defense policy and enables every
US military operation around the world.” Linking the nuke
to impunity and roguish behaviour (the Admiral would see
this as preserving freedom, of course), he makes an…

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