Thursday, December 22, 2016
Old men and their games
Ho Ho Ho....Merry Christmas. Let's take a second to listen in to Prez-elect Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin exchange Christmas Good-Will-To-All wishes. It went something like this:
Putin: "We have bigger, better nukes than you do."
Trump: "Only until January 20th, Pootie. Then I'll call your SS-18 and raise you a ballistic missile submarine!"
So let the games begin.
This war of words is almost comical. Despite our crushing national debt, the US could still, if it wanted to, spend $$Billions to expand our nuclear arsenal. But we won't because we don't need to. The Rooskies simply don't have the financial resources to engage with us in an arms race. They have trouble just meeting their weekly payroll!
And besides, nuclear weapons have lost much of their "fear factor". Here's the deal....nukes aren't the "deterrent" they once were. For a country to be taken seriously when they rattle their nuclear sword they must have two things: 1, lots of nukes (which both of us have); and 2, THE WILL TO USE THEM (which neither of us has).
In 1946 we alone had nukes and we'd just shown the world we weren't afraid to use them. "Back off or you're next!" A couple dozen years later both the US and the USSR had more than enough nukes to wipe each other out, and we settled into the world of MAD, or Mutually Assured Destruction. Both sides understood that if they unleashed their nuclear arsenal, they would themselves be a smoking hole in about 30 minutes, so neither side dared try it.
By 2016 we have become so "risk averse" that as often as not our FA-18's flying over bad guy territory return with all their weapons still on their wings. We're afraid of "collateral damage" if we miss and take out so much as a popsicle stand. There's no way in hell we're going to send a nuke into Tehran or Pyongyang or even Moscow or Beijing, nor will they hit NYC or Washington or London. World opinion would universally yell at us and make us cry!
More than likely we'll settle back into the old Cold War practice of combat-by-proxy, such as we're seeing now in Syria, and/or most menacing of all, cyber-warfare. We should be more frightened of our electricity or our ATM's going down than we should be of a nuclear mushroom cloud over Topeka.
So relax, lets just sit back with a box of popcorn and watch Trump and Putin play "mine's bigger than yours." *snicker* Life goes on. :)