Republican Senators such as Jon Kyl of Arizona are simply irresponsible warmongers. They are utterly ignorant of the strategic aspects of nuclear weapons. START I was signed in 1991 and expired in December 2009. Mr Kyl is holding up NEW Start, a rather modest follow-on nuclear arms control agreement, so we can build more enrichment plants of uranium or more reprocessing plants of plutonium: or at least modernise the ones we have. What kind of leaders are this who want to perpetuate the nightmare of destabilising missile defence and the nuclear-scientific-laboratory apparatus? Is this their future for us: nuclear weapons? nuclear proliferation? unconstrained spending in this area?
Mr Kyl needs to realise that nuclear weapons are useless as a weapon of war and that they cannot be used in an ethical manner. The doctrine of deterrence, which he apparently avidly supports, is equally monstrous and evil. Deterrence is based on the theory that the more nuclear weapons a nation has, the less likely it will be attacked by a nuclear power as long as its adversary does not fear a disabling first-strike attack. The fear of second strike retaliation prevents, so they say, an initiation of these barbaric weapons in combat. While it is true the numbers of strategic weapons in the triad have been reduced, the numbers of nuclear weapons are so vast that the capacity to destroy much of the Earth is evident. The two atomic weapons dropped in a genocidal manner over Japan in August 1945 demonstrated that one bomb can destroy an entire city.
Yet deterrence, which Senator Kyl apparently agrees would not be undermined with a limit of 1550 deployed warheads and 700 launchers on each side, wants to feed the nuclear war machine with $80 plus billion dollars worth of deficit spending. Modernising the decaying Manhattan Project infrastructure at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge, advocating tax cuts for the $250,000 a year club and slashing federal spending on the poor and unemployed are typical of the heartless, laissez-faire capitalist and violent fascination of the American conservative and liberal nexus. The Obama administration of course jumps to his call to waste billions on unusable weaponry because a declining empire becomes more enamoured with its weapons of mass destruction. Mr Kyl needs to realise that the US cannot demand Iranian denuclearisation and cessation of enrichment, if indeed they are attempting to build an atomic bomb, if we continue to produce fissile materials. The US cannot demand North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons programme and return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 given our own intentions to “modernise” and waste precious resources on weapons of mass destruction that are without any ethical justification.
The shame of the nation should be on those who hold hostage a minimalist arms-control agreement with some transparency of inspections in the name of missile defence–none does or will ever exist–and maintaining the “viablility” of some 5113 nuclear warheads in the stockpile that are either deployed, spares, or in the process of dismantlement at Pantex.