How did America’s leaders allow the country to become so vulnerable? U.S. leaders began a policy of nuclear disarmament at a pace far exceeding Russia’s following the end of the Cold War, naively believing the existential threat had passed. This exposed the United States to unnecessary and increasingly intolerable risks. By 2016, the U.S. nuclear arsenal had been reduced from 30,000 nuclear weapons to only 1,750 operational warheads. Many of these weapons are deployed on aging delivery systems of increasingly questionable reliability. Today, only 720 of America’s warheads are ready to launch at any given time, of which 50 percent would likely survive a full-scale nuclear first strike. The reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile is also a major concern. Successive administrations have failed to ensure it will function as designed in the event of a crisis.
Over the past decade, the United States has allowed itself to be overtaken by the Sino-Russian alliance in virtually every recognized measure of strategic military power. This includes offensive nuclear weapon systems, national missile defenses, hypersonic weapons, super-EMP weapons, and cyberwarfare capabilities. America has fallen behind its adversaries in terms of their combined economic and industrial manufacturing might, their ability to produce major weapon systems without foreign components, their hardening of critical infrastructures against EMP/cyberattack, their civil defenses, and overall nuclear war survivability.
The Department of Defense estimated in 2017 that the Russian Federation was in the process of building its own nuclear arsenal to total 8,000 deployed warheads, which is over four and a half times more operational nuclear warheads than the United States possesses. Russia has also deployed six strategic nuclear “superweapon” systems of a type the United States does not even possess that are not limited by existing arms control treaties. Former Defense Intelligence Agency intelligence officer Rebekah Koffler has stated, Putin believes war with the United States is “unavoidable.”
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Posted by Stephen Green at 8:34 am
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