Can the United States maintain its current level of nuclear security with fewer nuclear weapons — if the weapons are more accurate?
For nuclear weapons analyst Michaela Dodge of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, the answer is no. It’s all about targeting, she says. Having fewer weapons allows fewer possible targets. According to Dodge, having fewer weapons to reach the same or increased number of targets is bad. With lower numbers of nukes, the U.S. won’t have enough weapons to cover military targets in Russia, China and elsewhere, she says.
As an alternative, war planners will be forced to consider shifting targets toward civilian populations. “That is just not a good idea,” she says, adding that it brings new ethical and moral choices into play.
What happens when you bet everything on one assumption that might not be true?
The Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
John Meriwether, super-brain, helped put together LTCM. Between 1994 and 1998, the fund showed a return on investment of more than 40% per annum. However, its enormously leveraged gamble with various forms of arbitrage involving more than $1 trillion dollars went bad, and in one month, LTCM lost $1.9 billion.
LTCM bet everything on one key assumption that was wrong: People make their decisions independently.
Concerning the US nuclear arsenal, it is based on one key assumption that is wrong: Leaders put their people before themselves.
Leaders will not risk attacking the US because the subsequent retaliation will kill too many people. In fact they will risk attacking the US if the leaders and military can survive the retaliation. In the past the US could retaliate many times over many years – ensuring the death of leaders and military. Now it can only retaliate one time, and that is not enough. The red line has already been crossed. Given the right circumstances the US is currently in trouble.