I just finished reading an opinion piece from CNN by former Undersecretary of Defense for Research and and Engineering during the Carter Administration William J. Perry, and Tom Z. Collina, director of policy at Ploughshares Fund, a global security fund based in Washington, D.C. Their article Why do we Still Have the Bomb? gives a quick gloss over the future plans of the American nuclear arsenal, how President Trump is wanting to devote up to $1 Trillion dollars to upgrading and adding to the nuclear stockpile, and how Black Lives Matter is related to the anti-nuke protests of decades past.
The opinion article is making the case that President Trump is somehow responsible for the deterioration of the nuclear arsenal, and that he is also morally bereft in wanting to rejuvenate our nuclear capabilities by upgrading and improving our weapon systems. The threat of China emerging as the economic superpower in the future, in addition to Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine and the extension of Russian influence into the Balkans means that strategically, the upgrade and development of American nuclear capabilities should be pursued.
The balance of power between the United States and the U.S.S.R during the Cold War was maintained by the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The armies of the U.S. and Soviet Union never directly engaged in conventional warfare; the threat of nuclear launch of ICBM’s from the American continent and tactical missiles that were stationed in Germany until 1990 assured the Soviets that complete destruction was inevitable. On the other side, Soviet ICBM’s and the formerly deployed SS-20 Sabre nuclear missile system in the Ukraine threatened both the heartland of the United States, and the 300K American soldiers stationed throughout Western Europe.
The answer to Why Do We Still Have The Bomb? is simple. As long as other nations have “the bomb”, the United States will need to keep the Bomb. Having nuclear weapons is the number one deterrent to aggression against the United States directly, and America’s allies, including Israel, indirectly.
A better question may be, “Why do THEY Still Have the Bomb?”