Alex over at Lateenough.com is Ying to my Yang. Fiercely Liberal and Progressive she and I are politically as opposite as you might think possible. Yet we find ourselves at times, agreeing with one another. This is not one of those times. What started as a lengthy comment on her site has blossomed into post on my site. Ladies first. Go over to that link back there and read her post first.
Missed the link? Here it again:
by Alex Iwashyna on October 23, 2012
Allow me to retort.
First let me explain that as an Air Force veteran I have been on the pointy end of the spear. The very pointy end. The Air Force sent me and my family to Germany for the bottom half of the Eighties. After Jimmy Carter had gutted the military, Reagan had built it back up. We were eye to eye and toe to toe with The Ruskies. We waited for them to come rushing down the Fulda Gap. Aside from keeping my F-16 flying I had an additional duty. That being blowing up Czechoslovakia. I was the Nuclear Authentication NCO. I was in charge of the permission to use nuclear weapons. If you have ever seen the movie Crimson Tide you have a pretty good idea of what I did. It portrays the process of the use of nuclear weapons well. Right up until Hollywood journeys into Bullshit and drama. Suffice to say there are procedures to prevent events to unfold as they do in the movie. Procedures that for obvious reasons I won’t go into right now.
Why did I have to blow up Czechoslovakia? Because it was in the way. Our wing was to cut a nuclear corridor through the Czechs so that our bombers could get to Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev. Throughout the Cold War we could always depend on the Soviets doing what was in their best interest. For their part, the Soviets knew we were just as predictable. It was call Mutual Assured Destruction (Ironically M.A.D.). The rule was simple. Use a nuke and we’re all going down. The ultimate Fuck You.
Then Peace broke out and by 1992 people were saying the Cold War was over. Bush the Elder our military might thinking the Big One was over. Then a little thing call the Invasion of Kuwait happened. Fortunately, we had all the stuff in Europe and we aimed it at Iraq. The war that was never fought in Europe was unleashed in the desert with little more than a change in paint jobs. Desert brown instead of Green. Desert wars have been traditionally fast but we went through Iraq in 100 days. The Russians said to themselves “Holy SHIT. We would’ve got our asses kicked.
The reduction of military forces is an American tradition dating back to the Revolution. After World War One, the “War to end Wars” we scaled back and got World War Two. After WWII we scaled back and got Korea. After Korea we scaled back an got Vietnam. When we scaled back after Vietnam, Reagan built us right back up. The Reagan Doctrine called for the ability of the United States to fight two and a half wars at the same time. One in the Pacific. One in Europe and a little one somewhere else. The Middle East for example. Or a cute tropical island like Grenada.
Alex is quite right when she says that nation states do not act like people. There are countries out there that do not like us. Period. No discussion. All they respect is strength. Bush proclaimed the military cutbacks as a “Peace Dividend” and Saddam Hussein saw that weakness and invaded Kuwait. He felt we didn’t have the means or the Balls to do anything about it. Boy was he surprised.
President Clinton balanced the budget by cutting back the military again. Why not? The Soviet threat was gone. Osama bin Laden saw the weakness and (Surprise!) the World Trade Center went down.
Now we have been fighting terrorism for 10 years. It’s asymmetric warfare. There are no massed armor columns. No clear place to nuke. So that in time we have restructured the military to fight on a relatively small scale. We sacrificed the Two and a Half Wars Plan. President Obama sees the U.S. as the biggest Rogue Nation and wants to scale us back even further. He has taken steps to reduce our nuclear stockpile to zero.
In the mean time, Russian power is on the rise. Putin has been challenging sovereign airspace for a decade now. He and China have been building a Blue Water navy. They have been keeping their nukes while we destroy ours. Both countries fly their own stealth fighter. They are arming up for the Big War while we are busy fighting terror.
We have had peace (more or less) since 1945 because the world economy depends on international commerce. That commerce is dependent on free and safe sea lanes. Around the world there are a half a dozen or so “choke points” where a motivated nation could block them bringing world economies to a stand still. For these decades, America controlled on side of the choke point and Russia the other and together we kept the ships moving. Why do we need a larger Navy Mr. Obama? Because we need to project power in many areas at once. 24/7. We need to have the Two and a Half war capability again. That capability will give us the ability to Fight Russia and China and Terror at the same time. That strength will give them pause to start any shenanigans.
We have to resist attempts to bargain away our nuclear option. Nukes trump everything and you don’t even have to use them. The threat of use is more than enough. Nuclear warfare has already happened and I bet you didn’t even notice. A few years back Pakistan and India were bitching at each other. The Indian generals wanted to march into Pakistan and teach them a good lesson. To underline their point they detonated a series of nuclear weapons along the Indian side of the Indo/Paki border. Pakistan replied with a series of detonations themselves. Cooler heads prevailed.
But what if Iran goes nuclear? Some feel that North Korea went nuclear and nothing happened. So why can’t Iran have nukes? Because Iran is not motivated by politics. They are motivated by religious doctrine and will use their weapons. Even if they do bend to political pressure they can arm Al Queda and let them do it. Much like they are fighting in Iraq. By proxy.
I am thoroughly convinced that we will keep dicking around until Radical Islam will nuke one our cities. Not New York or Washington. A tertiary city like Phoenix or Las Vegas. At that point an Ohio class submarine will rise to launch depth, fire one sortie and religious retreats to the Middle East will be a thing of the past.
Do you really want that future? Keep on cutting the military budget so that your conscious feels better.
See what happens.
May God have mercy on us all.