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The new weapon, under development for about a year, is designed to ensure long-term reliability of the nation's inventory of bombs. Program backers say that with greater confidence in the quality of its weapons, the nation could draw down its stockpile, estimated at about 6,000 warheads.
Scientists also intend for the new weapons to be less vulnerable to accidental detonation and to be so secure that any stolen or lost weapon would be unusable.
Without the reliable replacement warhead, U.S. scientists say the nation will end up with old and potentially unreliable bombs within the next 15 years, allowing adversaries to challenge U.S. supremacy and erode the nation's so-called strategic deterrent.
Originally posted by DickBinBush
Whatever they end up with will most likely be better than what they had in the past? Isn't that the case for all countries? Hasn't it always been this way? Technology improves. Weapons improve. Therefore you are always developing something better.
Originally posted by RedGolem
But what ever the US ends up with will most likely be better then what they have been in the past.
Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe
Articles I've seen state that the US has around 10,000 active nuclear warheads and another 2,000 disassembled that can be online in a short time. The carrot the US offered to get countries like Iran and North Korea to sign the NNPT was that they would reduce stockpiles. It hasn't happened yet, but maybe this is the way out - design a bomb that's 4 times more efficient at killing and you only need 3000 instead of 12000.
Originally posted by deessell
Doesn't this conflict with the news that the Pentagon has re-written U.S. war doctrine that permits pre-emptive nuclear attack in non-nuclear countries? In my mind it does!
The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
The draft, dated March 15, would provide authoritative guidance for commanders to request presidential approval for using nuclear weapons, and represents the Pentagon's first attempt to revise procedures to reflect the Bush preemption doctrine.
In the month following last year's 7/7 London bombings, Vice President Dick Cheney is reported to have instructed USSTRATCOM to draw up a contingency plan "to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States". Implied in the contingency plan is the certainty that Iran would be behind a Second 9/11.
This "contingency plan" uses the pretext of a "Second 9/11", which has not yet happened, to prepare for a major military operation against Iran, while pressure was also exerted on Tehran in relation to its (non-existent) nuclear weapons program.
What is diabolical in this decision of the US Vice President is that the justification presented by Cheney to wage war on Iran rests on Iran's involvement in a hypothetical terrorist attack on America, which has not yet occurred:
The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing—that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack—but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections. (Philip Giraldi, Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War , The American Conservative, 2 August 2005)
Originally posted by DickBinBush
I have heard about that doctrine too. I don't have a link but it is true, I know that much. I'll look for a link but he is right about that.
I think it came with Cheney's "Second 9/11" plan. Google that or something and you may get some information.
Originally posted by jtma508
With the huge improvement in delivery systems we don't need as many nukes. We can get them on their target faster and with much, much better accuracy. A target that would take a dozen or more warheads to obliterate back in the 60's can be taken care of with one or two today. So the moral is: nuclear disarmament is relative.