Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stupid is a strong word, but ....

Our buddy Galrahn tweeted yesterday,

Not the first time I have heard that, but the guy was elected to quite a few offices. So, who am I to judge his IQ - though there are lots of brilliant idiots out there and very smart people who don't know squat about what they should - or know a lot of what is just wrong.

SECDEF Hagel was hired for one reason; to preside over the more rapid decline of the US military so that the next President doesn't have enough to really do anything overseas - and Hagel is doing a find job in that respect.

No, I prefer to evaluate someone by the company they keep and the causes they support. For me, Hagel was unqualified for the position he now holds for one reason; his association with "Global Zero."

Quick backgrounder:
Hagel is a vocal supporter of Global Zero, a group formed in Paris in 2008 that promotes eliminating nuclear weapons.

Made up of political, civic, and military leaders, the group calls for deep cuts in US and Russian nuclear arsenals.

Hagel has said that he does not believe in unilateral disarmament - a sticking point with right-wing policymakers.

He has also said he does not believe that eliminating the weapons will happen in the short-term.

In a press release on the Global Zero website, Hagel, with co-authors, wrote:

"We support bilateral, negotiated, verifiable U.S.-Russian arms reductions, to be followed by multilateral negotiations, bringing other key countries into a serious, verifiable process of reductions."

"...the suggestion that we naively believe that the elimination of nuclear weapons can be achieved easily or in short order is likewise false."
At best, Global Zero is just another posturing place for self-appointed intellectuals to make statements that make themselves feel good and be in a proper light with the "right" people. At worst, it follows in the long tradition of people so enamored by their importance that they think they can eliminate war, conflict - and have found just the way to do it. See the Washington Naval Treaty, Versailles, etc, etc, etc.

Here is a cold fact; it is simple mid-20th century technology to create a nuclear weapon. Almost all modern, non-nuclear nations from The Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Korea, and more could - turnkey - create a nuclear weapon of their own if they wished.

But they don't. Why? Simple, they don't have a reason to. The domestic politics, international environment, cost, and most importantly - a relationship with the United States of America in one way or another, keeps the needle in the "don't build" area.

So - what if we went to Global Zero? In a 4-Phase operation, we end here;
PHASE IV (2024 - 2030)

The phased, verified, proportionate dismantlement of all nuclear arsenals to zero total warheads is complete by 2030. The comprehensive verification and enforcement system prohibiting the development and possession of nuclear weapons is in place to ensure that the world is never again threatened by nuclear weapons.
OK, let's be adults here. How long, given human nature, will that last? The world has "zero" and then some player is found to have kept 50. The USA says, "no" it won't build more bombs, but will instead negotiate.

What do mature nations do? Without a big-friend's nuclear umbrella for the Worst-Case COA - the math changes. Simple - some will build their own, and off we go. That or a few cities get nuked and nations blackmailed ... and there you go.

Right now, no one does that because there is still the feeling of some kind of nuclear umbrella. No one fears that a bad actor will be able to click off a nuke and keep the USA, GBR, FRA, or even RUS from responding in kind.

Like chemical weapons, most believe that even in a shooting war between most nuclear nations listed above, no one would use the nukes just like in WWII no one used chemical weapons.

PAK and IND? Well, that is something different. Rogue nations? They may - but as long as we have a strong nuclear capability and seem to be willing to use it - that should keep it contained.

All depends upon leadership - but right now I have little doubt that if someone nuked NYC, that in time we would find out were it came from and if needed respond in kind - at least I hope so.

I recommend you spend some time on the Global Zero site - look at their "leaders" and think a bit. Think hard, think historically, think critically - and find your inner neo-Realist.

Personally, I like the fact that our President has access to our nuclear "crazy Aunt in the basement," who can advise him on how to vaporize entire cities in short order - and the fact that we have people trained, equipped and ready to do so.

The world is a nasty place, all cultures are not the same, and now and then good people have to do what they need to do in order to keep chaos and barbarism on the other side of the border.

As the world was, is, and will be.

In 1386, he marched again. The destination was the city of Isfahan, noted at that time, as it is today, for its beauty as well as its magnificent monuments and learned people. The city offered no resistance and opened its gates. Timur promised not to plunder the city if a ransom was paid. Out went the noblemen of Isfahan to collect the demanded booty. All was quiet for a day. Then, in the darkness of night, some of the townsfolk attacked Timur’s guards. In retrospect, it is not clear what happened, but the result was a disaster for the city. In the morning, Timur gave a general order for a massacre. The inhabitants of the city were hunted down and a mountain of skulls was created in the main bazaar. This was the first of the general massacres that Timur is noted for, something that he was to repeat later in Lahore, Delhi, Damascus and dozens of lesser cities. Almost 100,000 Isfahanis was killed.
In living memory, as a nation we have intentionally slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people - mostly women and children - in a fortnight - and one day we will have to again.

We should openly and soberly maintain a national Mattis Doctrine;
Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
- General James Mattis, USMC (Ret.)
A bad actor using a nuke and good nations do nothing? That is a world I would not want to live in.

When Rome lost the ability to "go Roman" - we all know how that worked out. Well, I assume everyone knows ... but at the rate our leaders seem to study history, perhaps not.

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