Bruce Blair

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End the First-Use Policy for Nuclear Weapons

Throughout the nuclear age, presidents have allowed their senior commanders to plan for the first use of nuclear weapons. Contingency plans were drawn to initiate first strikes to repel an invasion of Europe by the Soviet Union, defeat China and North Korea, take out chemical and biological weapons and conduct other missions.

After the end of the Cold War, which coincided with revolutionary advances in our nonnuclear military capacities, the range of these missions steadily narrowed to the point where nuclear weapons today no longer serve any purpose beyond deterring the first use of such weapons by our adversaries. Our nonnuclear strength, including economic and diplomatic power, our alliances, our conventional and cyber weaponry and our technological advantages, constitute a global military juggernaut unmatched in history.…  Seguir leyendo »

While most Americans were horrified and angered by the attacks on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, few probably felt the same level of frustration as one of us, Brian Weeden. He was serving on nuclear alert at a Minuteman missile bunker deep under the Great Plains. Despite having the most destructive weapons ever invented at its hands, our military was powerless to deter, disrupt, punish or destroy this new type of adversary.

Indeed, the Minuteman launching crews were “locked down” at their bunkers for 96 hours. Why? To shield them from terrorists. In the aftermath of the attacks, our nuclear forces were given all sorts of added protection against possible attacks on the bases.…  Seguir leyendo »