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    the ddt ban is still genocidal..., 2009-05-01 14:38:48 | Main | Kansas City Fed president Thom..., 2009-05-03 18:55:54

    but what will happen to the dollar when it's no longer backed by nuclear armageddon?:

    A little while back President Obama seemed to have made a pledge to honor US obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to reciprocate nuclear arms reductions by other nations, and said he was willing to go all the way down to zero. As we're rather a ways behind on that obligation I can only hope he was suggesting he would play catch-up, rather than making plans to give countries that aren't building nuclear weapons a list of demands to destroy weapons they never built, and then invading them when they fail to meet our demands.

    On the other hand, like Bush's pledge to put a man on mars, I don't get the feeling that anybody is taking Obama's happy talk about a nuclear-free world very seriously. If nothing else what passes for our public intellectual class should be excited by the budgetary ramifications of disarmament: $31 billion is spent each year to maintain and secure a nuclear arsenal of almost 5,400 nuclear weapons, which is a lot of money to anybody but an insolvent bank.

    If I could be bothered to look I expect I'd find a lot of gnashing of teeth over the loss our life-annihilating deterrent, so I'm glad the National Security Archives has published some of the original users manuals explaining how many nukes we could ever possibly need:

    William Burr: In early 1960, when Eisenhower's budget director Maurice Stans was told that the U.S. Navy's Polaris missile-launching submarines could "destroy 232 targets, which was sufficient to destroy all of Russia," he asked defense officials, "If POLARIS could do this job, why did we need other ... ICBMs, SAC aircraft, and overseas bases?" According to Stans, the answer "he had received ... [was] that was someone else's problem."

    These days we have 14 Ohio class submarines each armed with 24 Trident II submarine launched ballistic missiles, enough, simple math says, to nuke 336 targets and destroy all of whatever the fuck we want. The other 5,064 nukes remain somebody else's problem: taxpayers'.


:: posted by buermann @ 2009-05-01 21:54:18 CST | link





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