WASHINGTON, June 17, 2013 ― As G8 leaders convene in Lough Erne, Ireland for the Group’s annual summit, President Barack Obama has been issued a challenge from Hollywood to prioritize making the world a nuke-free planet by the year 2030.
Speaking on behalf of the Global Zero organization, Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman and others starred in a short YouTube video demanding a world of “zero.” The video, watermarked with the hashtag #demandzero, reminds President Obama of a 2009 promise that America would “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”
Hollywood’s new #demandzero movement isn’t just another random pet cause destined for obsolesce, though. In 2012, then-former Senator Chuck Hagel, Obama’s present-day Secretary of Defense, cosigned the Global Zero Nuclear Policy Commission’s disarmament report along with retired generals James Cartwright, Jack Sheehan and ambassadors Richard Burt and Thomas Pickering.
The report called for elimination of the land-based LGM-30 ICBM force, dismantling all tactical yield thermonuclear weapons over the next decade, and making the submarine force the primary platform for nuclear deterrence. The report also called for “de-alerting” Navy SLBMs – that is, storing the nuclear warhead re-entry vehicles and missile booster separately to force delay in a potential nuclear response.
Why Global Zero really means “U.S. Zero, Sino-Russian Domination”
Liberalism’s greatest flaw is that it has always put self-depreciating, utopian ideology ahead of real world necessity. While a world free of starvation, discrimination, pollution and nuclear weapons would be wonderful, it simply isn’t possible.
Human action is guided by fear and greed. Only in the posh bubble of privileged wealth, corrupt crony capitalism and fan worshipping Tinseltown do human beings have the space to self-actualize. If the United States were to go to total “zero,” let alone implement the proposals of the Global Zero report, America’s enemies would gain significant military and diplomatic leverage.
As the inventor of both the atomic and hydrogen bomb, the United States has let the nuclear genie out of the bottle. Nuclear weapons, having been invented, cannot be un-invented. The first working nuclear device was built in 1945, a time when scientists carried slide rules and computers were the size of warehouses.
Today, a child’s PlayStation console has enough computing power to serve as an Air Force Research Laboratory supercomputer, and the worldwide Internet allows anyone, anywhere the ability to scientifically collaborate and acquire near-infinite information.
The power to make nuclear weapons is easily within the grasp of any terrorist, rebel insurgent or state government in the world. There is also the fact that the nuclear arsenals of the Cold War still exist in the hands of nations that consider the United States a traditional enemy. Even at the end of Reagan’s second term Russia had more nuclear weapons than the entire world combined, many of which are still in reserve storage today.
Submarine-based deterrence won’t work
Already the United Kingdom has placed the bulk of their deterrence in a small number of submarines. If the United States were to implement the recommendations of the Global Zero report, this would make America and her allies extremely susceptible to a Russian-Sino first strike.
To be stealthy, submarines must operate at depths that in the event of war may not receive the signals to launch in a timely manner. There is also the issue that an enemy can determine through espionage and remote sensing the optimal time to destroy submarines in port.
Though submarines have the advantage of sailing close to a coast and reducing enemy missile early warning time to under 10 minutes, the Global Zero’s proposal of “de-alerting” warheads would negate a submarine commander’s advantage in delivering a time-sensitive counterforce strike.
To deter war, the U.S. military needs a secured second strike capability that cannot be defeated even under a well-executed surprise attack. This means a balanced strategic force that includes dispersed bombers, submarines and land based ICBMs.
If America’s enemies were to be assured the United States military could not immediately respond to a nuclear exchange, temptation will arise to strike first. The recent North Korean standoff demonstrates how quickly thermonuclear tensions can catch an ill-prepared America off guard.
Abraham Lincoln famously warned “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” President Obama should remember that wisdom before disarming America.
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