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US: Nuclear weapons

Mike Sullivan says: "Daryl DeBell is incorrect about US policy for using nuclear weapons as he states, "I don't think until recently the US has threatened to use them.....", We have always had the policy to use them, especially, if we were attacked by WMD. Why else would we have them? Also our policy was to use them first if we had 100% reliable information that the Soviet Union would was about to attack us with WMD. There are no winners in a nuclear exchange, so going first is of little value. In those days the Soviet Union was our only threat to survival. The term given this stand-off was "mutually assured destruction" as it was going to be disastrous for both sides. I can remember a time in the 1950's when we had two A4 aircraft, manned, sitting on the catapults ready to be fired off with a tactical nuke each and the target was not in the Soviet Union. The mission was cancelled, but the order and approval to prepare for this nuclear strike did not come from an Admiral in charge of the Fleet, but from the White House. . For years and years the USAF flew around the clock 24 hours a day with SAC bombers approaching the Soviet Union in international airspace with nuclear weapons aboard, prepared to attack if given the order. Remember the term "Fail Safe"? There is no telling how many times we have been at the brink of a nuclear war over a serious crisis with the USSR ; it has always been defused for obvious reasons of mutually assured destruction. One example is the Cuban missile crisis. All this talk today that we have changed our policy for employing nuclear weapons and is a lot more cavalier, because of the "cowboy" in the White House, is hype from the news media, the Left and the anti war crowd with another bogus attack on the Administration. I don't see any change in our nuclear weapons employment policy over the years except that we do not fly the daily SAC missions approaching the Soviet Union, as that threat has gone away. Additionally, we have submarines deployed around the world with the capability to respond nuclear, if required. However, there is no restraint or feeling of responsibility or hesitation on the use of WMD by Saddam or al Qaeda. That is why we must stop them now before they get them and figure out a way to employ them".

RH: What does Mike mean: "the target was not the Soviet Union"?

Ronald Hilton - 2/22/03