Am I concerned that people are considering the first use of nuclear arms, the answer is yes. Colonel Hunt, who recently published a book commented on radio on the feasibility of using what used to be called theater nuclear weapons or battlefield arms with neutron warheads. Thats a subject that needs a reality check since we never stockpiled the neutron warheads anyway. But to hear one of the candidates suggesting glowing sand, which is a reference to the green radio active glass created in the first nuclear test, we need to step back a bit and ask people if they truly are listening to themselves.
Now I can also say the anti-nuclear/ Anti-military groups are already producing their news article that the republican candidates are preparing to start a new Nuclear Arms race. Well, Putin has already begun one with his own new programs for a bomber, new SLBM systems (thats missile and submarine) and is beginning deployment of a new ICBM. The only thing we are doing is a new bomber, long needed given the truncated production of the B-2. But to hear Herman Cain state that the Minuteman ICBM was 30 years old, I realized even the Republicans have no idea how old these systems are. The Minuteman may have had its last examples made in the early 70s, but the technology is late 1950s when the first Minuteman 1s were built. Thus both the B-52 and the Minuteman are over half a century old. Only the Trident system and its Ohio class submarines are reasonably young and even those subs are 30 years old now. And what is endangering this system is the fact the nuclear reactors that propel and power these subs was designed with 30 year lifespans. Were I am concerned that too many people seem to be throwing around the idea of limited nuclear war, I am equally concerned that we will soon have a readiness problem with not just one leg of our defense triad, but all three legs.
Do we have the money to support such a series of high tech programs: the bigger question is do we have the people to support it. So many major firms with such large numbers of foreign workers who can never be security cleared for such a project. Equally a large number of companies with very young engineering staffs who might have to be conscripted if any of the present world hot spots erupts into a major conflict. The aerospace, and ship building firms have set themselves up to not be able to even accept a major government contract. Boeing may not understand this, but when they threatened Congress that they would leave America and have all their future aircraft designed by foreign engineers if the Export/Import bank was not renewed, was nearly a declaration that they were withdrawing from the Bomber selection process.