originally posted by: Zaphod58
The Air Force is studying putting the aircraft on alert again as an acknowledgement of how rapidly the world is changing and the many threats out
there. The order hasn't yet been given, but based on comments from the leadership, it's a matter of when, not if at this point.
Oh nice. Just one question, why?
Returning to Cold War era alert levels for the B-52 fleet is just about the last thing the US needs.
I’d sure like to know what farfetched scenarios they are dreaming up to come to this conclusion.
At the moment, only Russia has the capability to threaten the US nuclear force in any meaningful way and to conduct a decapitating first strike.
China isn’t there yet, they will be eventually, but they are on a second strike setting currently. They simply lack the warheads and strategic
delivery system to conduct more than counter value attacks.
The same is true for any other nuclear actor in the world. Including crazy North Koreans.
No matter what happens, there will always be someone left to respond. Not even Russia can hope to get every lone Ohio and ICBM missile silo. They’ll
never have this capability, no matter how aggressive they are upgrading their arsenal.
Not to mention the thought of them even considering to try is just asinine.
So why is there a need for an alert force with a 24/7 sortie on warning capability? Deterrence?
Don’t make me laugh. Putting B-52s on high alert doesn’t add anything to deterrence. Ohios with Trident works as a deterrent because nobody has
the capability to hunt them down. B-52s armed with nuclear tipped AGM-86B ALCMs won’t do well against modern Russian Air Defenses. There is a reason
why LRSO for the B-21 is still alive.
And whats to change for rogue state actors like North Korea? Does anyone honestly think putting a couple of nuclear armed B-52 on the tarmac at
Barksdale will deter Kim from vaporizing some billion liters of the pacific ocean? Or god forbid, deter him from nuking Guam/Hawaii/the West Coast?
Why? This is just stupid. There would be a response anyway, B-52s on alert or not.
All it would achieve is some crazy media fire storm and some moderate political fallout. Trump threatening nuclear war. Trump preparing for nuclear
first strike. Trump bringing back the Cold War. Trump is going to declare war on Kim. Trump is going to declare war on Putin. Trump will destroy the
world. Trump is going to kill as all. Blablabla
Meanwhile those B-52s on high alert will do nothing but consume money. Money the Air Force doesn’t have and will have to come from somewhere. What
are you willing to cut for this crap?
And its not just B-52s and money, its tanker assets and force availability as well. The B-52 fleet is not without work. The B-52s have a conventional
role and are routinely deployed around the world. Putting some on nuclear alert on some CONUS base will put an additional burden on the rest of the
Air Force. The gap needs to be filled somehow.
If you want to beef up deterence make sure the Oihio patrol schedule is not slipping and dont screw up the Columbia procurement.