Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nuclear Deterrence Is Our Future

The US just agreed to share its nuclear technology with India, the world's largest democracy. That's sensible - the failure to stop the dictatorships in North Korea, Pakistan and Iran from building nukes means we must now rely on nuclear deterrence to maintain our freedoms.
President Bush yesterday signed a bill establishing civilian nuclear ties with India, a dramatic break in three decades of U.S. nonproliferation policy but a step that the Bush administration said will closer bind both nations and redraw the balance of power in Asia.

"After 30 years outside the system, India will now operate its civilian nuclear energy program under internationally accepted guidelines -- and the world is going to be safer as a result," Mr. Bush said, signing legislation that could allow U.S. nuclear technology to be shared with India for nonmilitary purposes...

Opponents, though, said the agreement marks a retreat in the United States' stated goal of containing nuclear proliferation. Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, called it "an historic mistake."

"It has shredded the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; it has emboldened Iran's nuclear-weapons program and has vastly increased India's capacity to make nuclear weapons to 40 to 50 nuclear bombs per year from two to three nuclear bombs per year," he said.
With the NPT already shredded, that leaves Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), the doctrine that saw us through the Cold War.

This still works:
China only has twenty missiles that could reach the United States. These are liquid fueled, take hours to get ready for launch, and spend most of their time off-line. And even if these missiles were made ready, they could only threaten the Western United States.

Meanwhile, the United States has over 800 missiles that could reach China, and most of them are ready to fire 24/7. How many of those missiles are aimed at China is a well-kept secret, but China has about 200 nuclear warheads, while the U.S. has over 9,000.

Perhaps China realizes that the chances of the United States using, or even threatening to use, nuclear armed missiles against China are slim to none. In that case, why should China spend a lot of money trying to match the American arsenal.
The world's democracies - including the UK - best assure their survival by following India's example and increasing the quality and quantity of their nuclear weapons.