The systematic weakening of America 4

This is from an article at Investors’ Business Daily by Robert R. Monroe, retired vice admiral with the U.S. Navy and former director of the Defense Nuclear Agency:

At the dawn of the nuclear era, when America created its nuclear weapons laboratories (Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia) … the labs were charged to conduct advanced nuclear weapons research, development and testing of all types so that no adversary could ever take us unawares by producing some new and dangerous types of nuclear weapons.

The labs performed this mission superbly throughout World War II and the five decades of the Cold War. For over half a century our nuclear weapons and related advanced technological capabilities were supreme in the world.

But since 1992, the U.S. government — executive branch and Congress — has actively prevented the labs from doing work of this type. For 23 years Democrats and Republicans, using laws, regulations and denials of funding, progressively restricted the labs from taking any of these needed actions.

Lab scientists have not been able to even think about new weapons, exploratory work has ceased to exist and the high-priority mission of avoiding technological surprise has been closed down.

These grave mistakes resulted from the simplistic belief that they would help prevent nuclear proliferation. Wiser voices, making the obvious point that true national security — and effective prevention of nuclear proliferation — lay in nuclear weapons strength, were shouted down.

This two-decade rampage has resulted in a staggering list of national disabilities:

Most damaging is President Bush’s unilateral 1992 moratorium on underground nuclear testing. It bars the labs from essential testing of our overage nuclear stockpile, prevents development of relevant replacement weapons, denies our scientists use of the scientific method (the basis of all advancement) and leaves us at the mercy of Russia, China and other adversaries.

• From 1993-2003 Congress explicitly made it illegal to carry out any research or development on low-yield nuclear weapons, which are vital to deter today’s grave new nuclear threats. This established the wrong mindset in a generation of lab scientists which still exists.

In 1989 the executive branch shut down the nation’s only facility to produce plutonium pits — the hearts of nuclear weapons — making us the only nuclear weapons state in the world unable to produce nuclear arms. Since then, executive branch fumbling and congressional denials have combined to prevent replacement of this absolutely essential production facility. If a decision were made today, it would still be 10 to 15 years before pit production could start.

In 1996 President Clinton signed the extremely damaging Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which denies nuclear weapons testing for all time. The Senate emphatically rejected ratification in 1999, but several adverse effects of the signing remain and President Obama is determined to get it ratified. The CTBT has an overpoweringly adverse effect on the labs.

In 2003 the executive branch belatedly proposed three important new nuclear weapons programs. The Advanced Concepts Initiative would have enabled the labs to commence research and development on advanced nukes. The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator program would have met the mushrooming threat of hard, deeply buried targets. The Enhanced Test Readiness program would have enabled the president, in a national emergency, to conduct an underground test within one to two years, rather than the current three to five.

Congress delayed, then killed, all three programs.

The weakening process has been accelerated under Obama:

• In 2005 the Reliable Replacement Warhead program was proposed. Because it had no new military capabilities, it gained fragile bipartisan support. However, Congress soon backwatered on it, and Obama killed it in 2009 as not befitting his “world without nuclear weapons” vision.

The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, which established the overall nuclear policy of the current administration, provided the blueprint for U.S. nuclear weakness, a stark reversal from the role of U.S. nuclear weapons strength that had been established and maintained by 12 Presidents (six Democrats, six Republicans) throughout the prior seven decades.

The urgently needed modernization program for the labs and America’s nuclear weapons infrastructure, formally agreed to by Obama in return for Senate approval of New START treaty ratification in 2010, has been progressively dismantled by both branches ever since.

These eight actions — and many others — by our national leadership have emasculated the labs’ ability to protect us from technological surprise in nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, for two decades Russia has been following exactly the opposite course. Its nuclear weapons labs have focused on low-yield weapons research, design, testing and production. It’s pursued advanced concepts, fifth-generation weapons and greater use of fusion and less of fission (possibly achieving pure fusion).

Such weapons might well emit only neutrons and gamma rays, and their tactics of use would be ones we’ve never seen.

Furthermore, Russia’s new strategy calls for early use of nuclear weapons in all conflicts, large and small.

America’s current nuclear weapons course is one of grave risk. Our policy documents emphasize that “nuclear stability” must be our goal, yet the technological surprise we are encouraging by our actions is the antithesis of stability. We must return to a policy of nuclear strength.

China too is strengthening its arsenal with new weapons.

This is also from IBD:

National Security: Beijing is moving fast on a maneuverable, hypersonic glide vehicle designed to evade America’s defenses, including the Aegis ballistic missile system guarding our carrier battle groups.

On Aug. 7, China conducted a second test of its hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), known as the WU-14, yet another example of its relentless pursuit of high-tech weaponry as the United States abandons what the administration dismisses as Cold War weaponry.

The first test, conducted in January, saw China’s HGV reach speeds in the vicinity of Mach 10, about 10 times the speed of sound. In the latest test, according to Internet reports, the WU-14 was the upper stage of a missile launched from the Jiuquan satellite launch facility in China’s western Gobi desert.

Strategic experts say that the importance of this weapons program cannot be understated. …

China in March announced a 12.2% rise in this year’s military budget over 2013, which itself was 10.3% over the year before that.

These are the actions of an ascending power intent on challenging the U.S., first in the western Pacific and then globally.

It is building a blue-water navy complete with its own carrier battle groups.

Last fall, the Chinese newspaper Global Times boasted, “The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one Type 094 SSBN (ship, submersible, ballistic, nuclear — i.e., a ballistic missile-carrying nuclear submarine) can kill and wound 5 to 12 million Americans.” This announcement came complete with target maps.

As we’ve also noted, China recently unveiled a new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-41, that can deliver 10 nuclear warheads to any target in the U.S.

We have moved in the opposite direction, recently deactivating an entire ICBM missile squadron.

China has begun throwing its weight around, recently establishing an air defense identification zone over the Senkaku Islands near Okinawa, claimed by Japan. It has also laid claim to the Spratly and Paracel Island chains in the South China Sea, the entirety of which it treats as Chinese territorial waters.

Beijing’s goal is to push the U.S. out of the western Pacific, establish regional dominance along the Pacific Rim and then push outward from there.

Will the US do anything to stop it?

There’s no sign that it will.

  • Don L

    This is saddening, maddening and frightening information. I resubmit the article 545 vs the 330 million:

    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization,
    it expects what never was and never will be.” – Thomas Jefferson

    The article below is neutral, neither anti-republican or anti-democrat. Based on an article by Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, it hits the nail on the head, clearly exposing who is behind the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. Ultimately, however, the failed government programs, the loss of liberty and the theft of the nation’s wealth lies with citizens who fail their duty to provide INFORMED CONSENT of THE GOVERNED; for having allowed themselves to be lulled and gulled to accept the misdirections, obfuscation and outright lies of the unavoidably-obvious self-serving & duplicitous, intentionally-deceptive mis-named, ‘PUBLIC SERVANTS’! Remember, WE are not the government. The 545 are and we are not managing them very well.

    545 vs 330,000,000 People

    Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

    Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

    Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation, unemployment and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation, unemployment and high taxes?

    You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

    You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

    You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

    You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

    You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

    One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 330 million that are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems [the country teetering on the brink of bankruptcy; the U.S. dollar at the point of collapse; NOT ONE segment of the economy free of costly, crippling and patronage-motivated anti-consumer, anti-entrepreneur, anti-innovation and anti-competetive regulation; and, the staggering burden of unfathomable generational debt] that plague this country.

    Excluded are the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank system [an ecto-constitutional, politically-influenced, uncontestable & unanswerable and cartelized banking, otherwise fraudulent, inflationary counterfeiting scheme].

    Excluded are all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. It doesn’t matter if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

    Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con/scam/hoax/fraud/sham regardless of political party.

    What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the unmitigated gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. A bald-faced lie, an intentional misdirection, whereas the President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

    The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

    It seems inconceivable that a nation of 330 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present irrefutable facts — of incompetence, irresponsibility and, if not actual then bordering on, criminal behavior. There is not one single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

    If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

    If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

    If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan …

    If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

    There are no insoluble government problems.

    Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics”…contrived deceptions; ubiquitous and false deflections of blame…they claim prevent them from doing what they raised their hand and swore an oath to do.

    Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible…PERIOD!

    They, and they alone, have the power.

    They, and they alone, must be held to account by the people who are their bosses.

    This, however, requires that the voters, the governed, acknowledge complicity and finally accept the reponsibility for managing their own employees…recruitment-employment-termination…and, that can’t happen until the voters actively engage to discover the difference between being ruled and being the goverend by INFORMED consent.

    • Right, Don L. But how, but how?

      The flaws of democracy are showing vividly in the stupid Scottish referendum.

    • liz

      I’m no constitutional scholar, but I’m beginning to think the founders should have done a lot more spelling out of certain things. Like NO CENTRAL BANK, no interference of government in the private sector, and vice versa, etc….
      Those who wanted to manipulate the gullible public had already beaten Jefferson to it before he even spoke his warning. They’ve been whitewashing all their underhanded carryings on ever since. And perfecting the art of perverting education into indoctrination.
      I think I’ve been hearing the refrain, “Wake up, America” for the last 50 years, and it hasn’t had a noticeable effect yet.

  • liz

    Here’s another good example of the fact that we’re not dealing with stupidity here. No one – not even our pathetic excuse for a president – could be this stupid. The weakening of our defenses is deliberate. We might as well put a sign up saying we’re up for grabs to the first attacker.