Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Will Highly Accurate, Small Yield Nukes make "Big Stick" War More Thinkable?

I bring this new development in the ongoing rethink of whether we should be fielding a new generation of nukes or not to you attention not only because it ought to be causing more concern than it has so far, but also because of a suspicion I have had of what might have got the military think tank crowd worried in the first place. I say this because you can't talk about  smaller, more precise tactical nukes without wondering how it follows, coincidentally or not, on a series of books written by Joe Buff, starting in 2001.

Before going any further, however, I should also add that these are good reads which, as fiction, I enjoyed a lot. That being said, though, you still have wonder just how plausible the scenario presented is when it involves Germany and South Africa going rouge against much of the rest of the Western world. World resource shortages, and the ravages of very severe weather would be far more likely scenarios, it seems to me, and it would be between the West and the East.

The fact that it also depicts how successful a country might be in employing low yield nukes in significant numbers, especially at sea, certainly might suggest to the strategic security community a vulnerability coming to the fore. The real problem here, of course, is that the response is not to work at minimizing the more plausible causes of conflict, but to devise a counter weapon should those causes actually come to a logical conclusion.

Remember, we're talking about many billions of dollars to replace the old stock piles of nuke weapons. Money that, a reasonable mind might think, would be better spent on negotiating a host of measures that would not only lessen the friction of dwindling resources, but the causes of extreme weather.

Just a thought.

As U.S. Modernizes Nuclear Weapons, ‘Smaller’ Leaves Some Uneasy

Jeffrey Fuller series