Monday, August 28, 2006

Rumsfeld Considering Use of ICBMs in "War on Terror"

This idea is impractical in the extreme.

Rumsfeld ... said the Pentagon was considering a plan to replace the nuclear warheads on some intercontinental ballistic missiles with conventional weapons, a move that would make the missiles less lethal and therefore more conceivable for politicians to use in preemptive strikes against terrorist groups.

The re-tipped missiles would offer the ability to accurately and quickly target such groups as the threat they pose grows due to their acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and other lethal weapons from proliferators, Rumsfeld said.

"We think that it's conceivable that five, 10 years from now there could be a target because of proliferation ... that would be able to be hit or deterred as the case may be by a conventional ICBM," Rumsfeld said.

Why would a nation who is engaging in proliferation be deterred by a conventional threat? This flies in the face of 50+ years of international security studies.

Sounds instead like the Secretary of Defense thinks that the rest of the world has caught a case of the missile willies from Israel's experience under the gun from Hezbollah.

He would be wrong.

The stress of being under threat from missile attack is not to be ignored, but Rumsfeld surely must realize that the real leverage of ICBMs come from the nuclear payload they carry.

Also, ICBMs are too expensive to waste delivering conventional payloads.

I'm smelling a psy-op here.


Blogger Meatball One said...

Sounds like a bit of Pavlovian conition in the psyworks.

We learn (are conditioned) to get comfortable with the use of mini nukes in everyday operations. (The new doctrine already at hand)

We also are conditioned to get comfortable with ICBMs which have always been crossbranded to their detriment by their assiciation with nuclear warheads.

Then for graduation we learn to accept what has become benign as seperate entities - nukes and rockets - in recombinant form. Nuclear armed ICBMs for everyday use.

Back to scratch - but now with brave new minds.

Voof Voof

8/28/2006 2:39 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


You are on to something with the Pavlovian conditioning hypothesis.

I was thinking it was merely a run-of-the-mill psy-op, but your idea sounds better.

Plus, the defense contractors wouldn't complain to get the extra work.

8/28/2006 2:48 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Im just guessing. But somewhere down the line the public is gonna have to be conditioned to accept using nukes in everydayish militry contingencies. Not to mention the learning curve ahead for our economic adversaries. Our dollar depends on it. Gold standard, Fiat, nuclear standard. Sounds like progress to me.

8/28/2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


You just know that it will be the U.S. that breaks the taboo on using nukes. It will probably be a tactical nuke, but then everyone else will no longer be bound to keep it in their pants any more.

And you are right about the conditioning on that point. That was what all the talk a year or two ago about creating a new generation of bunker-buster and lightweight tactical nukes was all about. To get the armchair military analyst to believe that we need these weapons. Anyway, the average overworked American doesn't care one way or another anymore.

8/28/2006 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way that you are both talking and thinking is chilling indeed.

somewhere down the line the public is gonna have to be conditioned to accept using nukes in everydayish militry contingencies.

No doubt this would be a very easy idea for the U.S. public to accept -- as long as it was done to OTHER people -- some how I'd like to see how Rove could spin the folks in Dogbreath, TX into accepting limited nukes in their own back yards...

You just know that it will be the U.S. that breaks the taboo on using nukes.

I completely agree with you on that... And they're the only ones who ever have in the past too -- which is why, in my books, they have ZERO authority to tell anyone else what to do when it comes to WMD.


8/28/2006 5:04 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


M1 and myself make it a point of knowing about stuff like this. This doesn't mean that we are in favor of what we describe.

We (and the regular readers of our work -- you, for one) have better insight than nearly anyone into the precarious situation the U.S. has gotten itself and the rest of the world into.

Sometimes this needs to be conveyed by parody.

Oh, and Rove would have no problem getting the good folks in Dogbreath to push the red button. He would, as you indicate, have a harder time getting them to take one for the team.

8/28/2006 5:25 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Sorry Dena...sometime I take on the mindset of the kooks per untalented parody. And to make things even more confusing, I do that right smack in the middle of being M1 without giving any warning of my switcharoo. I only assume I can get away with it because my laziness demands it. Thanks Effy, for clearing that up.

When i mentioned the learning curve earlier , I meant that the world beyond the domestic mind market is also gonna have to learn that we mean to be nuclear responsive at a much lower threshold than previously assumed. To the extent that we convince others of that, we will be using our nukes without so much as popping them (but we're gonna have to pop a few anyways....damn, there I went switcharooing again)

BTW, Dena...what about tht drink? Did my wheelchair talk scare you off more than my regular meatball jive?

8/28/2006 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, your regular meatball jive scares me more than your wheelchair talk... but still -- we have to look at our fears in the face right?

Anytime you're in Toronto I'd be honoured and delighted. :-)


8/28/2006 7:19 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Will you fear me more if I'm 6'3" and not a diapered paraplegic?

Toronto and Dena - sweet.

8/28/2006 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will you fear me more if I'm 6'3" and not a diapered paraplegic?

No. I think both evoke the same level of fear in me. ;-)


8/29/2006 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, M1 - I just read your comment about having a place in Peterborough --well, it's a small world after all!! -- the winters are great! -- What with global warming etc. it never really gets that cold here anymore...

I fear we are getting waaaayyyy off topic -- but really, if any of you regulars were in Toronto, it would be a pleasure to meet for a drink... I'm not much of a drinker, but I would be happy to have a glass of wine and eviserate what passes for American foreign policy...


8/29/2006 9:28 PM  
Blogger DrewL said...

Hey, if this keeps up much longer, I may pack up the family and move to Canada for good, eh. My parents are from Canada, so it wouldn't be a stretch. But I just can't decide...Moose Jaw or Flin Flon? It's a tough choice. ;-)

The logical nuke scenario for me is a false flag nuke on US, UK or Israeli soil attributed to Hezbollah/Iran, then resulting in an all-out assault on Iran with everything but the kitchen sink.

For almost 50 years after WWII, our nuclear arsenal was held in check by the nuclear threat posed by the USSR. Now that we have the neo-con wackos in charge, it's the first time the U.S. has had virtually unfettered nuclear supremacy in history. The most effective deterrent is long gone. And the wackos in charge may not feel opposed to using nukes to flex their ego-driven muscles. I fear that they are getting an itch that must be scratched. Ugh.

8/29/2006 10:18 PM  

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