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Trump’s Nuke Plan Raising Alarms Among Military Brass

The Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), to be released Friday, will include a call for the deployment of low-yield, “more usable” nuclear warheads, a move widely anticipated when a draft of the document was leaked to the Huffington Post [1] on January 11. So while the recommendations won’t necessarily be a surprise, what is less public is the bitter battle during its drafting that pitted senior Army and Navy warriors against nuclear wonks inside the Defense Department. That fight—over the exorbitant costs associated with the NPR, and charges that it could make nuclear war more likely [2]—are bound to continue through implementation.

“It’s one thing to write a policy,” a senior Pentagon civilian privy to the NPR fight told The American Conservative, “and it’s another thing to have it implemented. What the NPR is recommending will break the bank, and a lot of people around here are worried that making nuclear weapons more usable isn’t what we should be doing. The conventional military guys have dug in their heels, they’re dead-set against it. This battle isn’t over.”

In effect, the congressionally mandated review calls for the U.S. to deploy two new types of lower yield nuclear warheads, generally defined as nuclear bombs below a five kiloton range (the one dropped on Hiroshima was 20 kilotons), that could be fitted onto a submarine-launched ballistic missile, and one, yet to be developed, that would be fitted onto a submarine-launched cruise missile. Additionally, the NPR calls for “recapitalizing” the complex of nuclear laboratories and plants, which, taken together with the proposed modernization program of the U.S. nuclear arsenal (the “triad”), will almost certainly cost in excess of the estimated price tag of $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years.  

The drafting of the NPR began in April of 2017, when Defense Secretary James Mattis directed that the work be overseen by the deputy secretary of defense and AF General Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But the actual writing of the document was organized by Dr. Robert Soofer, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy and a former powerhouse staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Soofer, in turn, depended on a group of nuclear thinkers led by Dr. Keith Payne, the high-profile president of the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP). Payne was aided by Franklin Miller, an influential defense thinker who, as he confirmed to The American Conservative by email, provided “advice to DoD” on the project. (Payne did not respond to repeated requests for comment on this article, while Miller emailed that he would not comment until after the NPR was released.)

The prominence of Payne and Miller set off alarm bells among senior Army and Navy officers, who viewed the two as nuclear hawks. Indeed, Payne and Miller had often teamed up in a kind of traveling road show to present their pro-nuclear views—as they did in September 2014 during briefings of Air Force officers at Minot Air Force Base, home of the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing of the Air Force’s Global Strike Command. Payne’s team included Miller, along with retired Admiral Richard Mies, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Robert Joseph, a scholar at Payne’s nuclear think tank, and nuclear intellectual Peter Huessy, an outspoken advocate for modernization of the nuclear triad—the combination of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles that comprise the U.S. nuclear strike arsenal. The combination of Payne, Miller, Mies, Joseph, and Huessy, many senior military officers believed, meant that the NPR’s conclusions had been “pre-cooked.”

They had good reason for their suspicions: Payne and Miller were not afraid to “break the crockery,” as one senior Army officer told me, in promoting their views, which included taking public whacks at Pentagon icons. Back in October of 2016, Payne and Miller co-authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal criticizing former defense secretary William Perry’s call for President Obama to adopt a policy of “no first use” for nuclear weapons and consider eliminating America’s land-based intercontinental ballistic-missile force. Payne and Miller argued that the proposals would “encourage opponents’ provocations, degrade our ability to deter large-scale wars, undermine the scarcity of already-frightened U.S. allies in Europe and Asia and contribute to the further proliferation of nuclear weapons.” The op-ed implied that Perry (a legend in Pentagon circles) was out-of-touch. “These are naïve proposals,” Payne and Miller wrote [3], “suited to a benign world that does not exist and offered by activists who have yet to figure that out.”

For some senior military officers, the op-ed was predictable. Payne had also been celebrated for writing a 1980 Foreign Policy article arguing that the U.S. could fight and win a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, while holding down American casualties to “approximately 20 million people”—what Payne described as “a level compatible with national survival and recovery.” Then in 1999, Payne authored “Nuclear Weapons—Theirs and Ours” (it is no longer available on the NIPP website), which derided anti-nuclear activists and presaged the views presented in the 2018 NPR, calling for the deployment of lower yield nuclear warheads that, he argued, could be used in a conventional conflict. Thus was Payne’s reputation sealed: When he was named by George W. Bush as the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary for forces policy, reporter Fred Kaplan dubbed him “Rumsfeld’s Dr. Strangelove.” [4]

So it was that when word got out that Payne and his team were drafting the nuclear posture statement, a coterie of senior military officers descended on both Vice Chief Paul Selva and Lieutenant General Jack Weinstein, the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration. They came under enormous pressure to “dial back” Payne and his team’s recommendations. The fear was that the NPR would echo Payne’s 2017 briefing on nuclear issues (“A New Nuclear Review for a New Age”), which had been signed onto by over 30 nuclear heavyweights. Army and Navy officers worried that Payne and his team would promote massive new funding initiatives at the expense of badly needed monies for military readiness. They also worried, more urgently, that Payne would put the nation on the slippery slope to nuclear escalation. Or, as one retired senior Army officer who tracked the review phrased it, in recommending the U.S. build and deploy lower yield warheads, Payne and his team were providing Donald Trump with “a kind of gateway drug for nuclear war.”

The pressure brought results, if only in part. The earliest drafts of the review reportedly contained a hodgepodge of ideas that included fielding a “nuclear hyper-glide weapon” and a threat to non-nuclear states that, in extreme circumstances, the U.S. would retain the right to target them. Neither option made the final cut. “I credit Frank Miller for dampening some of these early ideas,” a senior Air Force officer says, “but I have to tell you, some of this stuff was just wacky.” As the review neared completion, those who’d gotten wind of what the final product would contain began to question some of its more controversial positions—most prominently its call for the deployment of lower yield, tactical nuclear warheads.

The ostensible reason for the recommendation takes nuclear thinkers through the looking glass. For nuclear hawks, the fact that the U.S. has to rely on strategic nuclear weapons when faced with a major attack (presumably by the Russians or Chinese) is actually a weakness—our nuclear deterrence force “lacks credibility,” and the Russians know it. By this reasoning, the Russians will use tactical warheads early on in a conflict because they know the U.S. would only have one option—launching strategic weapons, which, as the hawks reason, no president would ever do. So there’s a gap, and deploying lower yield weapons would fill it. For the NPR’s advocates, the credibility of America’s nuclear deterrence is everything, and enhancing it is a no-brainer.

“All of this stuff about how the new NPR puts us on a slippery slope to nuclear war is just foolish,” Huessy, who is part of Payne’s Minot roadshow, told The American Conservative in an extended telephone conversation. “In fact, this NPR is very consistent with other reviews, dating back to the Clinton years and including the one under Barack Obama. But things have changed. We have a new suite of threats and they’re serious. We especially need to deter Russia. I don’t think Russia is reckless, but there’s every chance that Putin would threaten to use low yield warheads early on in a conflict because he would calculate that we would have to stand down. That we wouldn’t opt for a strategic nuclear exchange. We need to counter that, and this NPR does, because it provides a lower yield warhead option.”

But to the NPR’s critics, the claim that the U.S. nuclear arsenal lacks credibility is nonsense, as is the claim that, in the case of war, a president would have to escalate to a species-ending nuclear exchange. “The NPR says that the Russians think our nuclear arsenal lacks credibility, but there’s absolutely no evidence that that’s the case,” Adam Mount, the director of the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told me. “And you know, the NPR seems to imply that we don’t have non-strategic options when, actually, we do.” In fact, as senior military officers told me, the U.S. has 150 air-delivered tactical nuclear warheads at five NATO bases in Europe (the B-61 gravity warhead), and about 350 more that can be deployed from the U.S. Or, as Mount says, “The review does not present a strong case for why these new capabilities are needed. They are weapons in search of a mission.” 

Another issue raised by opponents of the NPR is that its proposed supplements to America’s nuclear arsenal will be ineffective. “The NPR says that it addresses nuclear ambiguity, but it actually increases it,” Kingston Reif, the Director of Disarmament & Threat Reduction Policy at the Arms Control Association notes. “If we were to put low yield warheads on our submarine launched missiles, as the NPR recommends, and actually fire them, how would the Russians actually know they were low yield warheads? The answer is that they wouldn’t—and they’d respond strategically. The truth is, even launching a ballistic missile is a huge escalation.” A number of influential Air Force officers, it seems, agree. When the U.S. said it was considering [5] deploying tactical nuclear weapons to Korea, Air Force General John Hyten pushed back: “I think it [the term tactical nuclear weapon] is actually a very dangerous term to use, because I think every nuclear weapon that is employed is strategic.”

And senior Air Force officers weren’t the only one to push back. When the draft NPR was leaked in January, Navy officers weighed in hard with Selva and Soofer. “I’m not surprised, they must have gone nuts,” Jon Wolfsthal, a nuclear expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says. “This isn’t high on the Navy’s list of things to do, and they were overjoyed about getting rid of nukes on their [surface] ships. And, you know, these guys on their boomers [nuclear armed subs] are nervous about anything that puts at risk their ability to hide. So now they’re going to be asked to fire off a tactical warhead at an enemy who won’t know that it’s tactical—which gives away their position. The NPR is asking them to commit suicide.”

But the core problem with the NPR, its critics say, is that it signals weakness. “The NPR claims that Russia has adopted the mistaken impression that our nuclear arsenal lacks credibility,” Adam Mount notes. “But that doesn’t make sense: if the Russians are operating under a mistaken impression, why would we need to correct anything? In fact, by adopting the programs that the NPR recommends, we’re actually confirming the Russian misperception. The NPR’s thinking is shoddy, its analysis is shoddy, and its conclusions are shoddy. It makes mistake after mistake.” 

Mount has a point. On the day prior to its roll-out at the Pentagon, a map included in the review mistakenly showed the Korean Peninsula—but without any South Korea.

In the end, whether the NPR’s recommendations will actually be implemented might well come down to money. “Deploying Tac nukes is a labor to capital replacement,” a senior Army officer says. “You are substituting things for people, and that’s the key mistake of the NPR. You want a credible deterrent? Well-trained soldiers are a credible deterrent, tac nukes aren’t. We don’t have enough people, people who are really ready, and that’s the shortfall, the real shortfall. So now we’re going to rob our soldiers of weapons we really need in order to buy nukes that we don’t need? You go tell that to the guys in the front lines, they’ll tell you where to stick it.”

Or, perhaps, whether the NPR’s recommendations will actually be implemented will come down to politics—and Donald Trump. “Listen,” a senior nuclear thinker and NPR critic told The American Conservative, “the story you won’t hear is how this really came about. And here’s how it happened. One day, Sean Hannity got on television and talked about how we need more nuclear weapons and Donald Trump heard this and went over to the Pentagon and presto, we got Keith Payne and his crew. That’s the truth, and that’s what got us to where we are.”

The last word in this debate comes from Huessy, who pushes back hard against the “Sean Hannity nuclear program” claim. “Accusing Trump of running around the world threatening the use of nuclear weapons is simply not true, and it’s unconscionable to say so,” he told The American Conservative in a wide ranging interview. “This NPR is in line with what three previous presidents have done. Upgrading and modernizing wasn’t Trump’s idea, it was Obama’s. And I understand the problem with funding. And I even agree with it. These budget caps have to go, and if they don’t, we’re not only not going to be able to implement the NPR, we’re not going to be able to address our readiness gap. And that’s the truth. The danger here is that in making the choice between one of the other, addressing readiness or building a credible nuclear deterrent, we’re in danger of ending up with neither.”

Maybe or maybe not. But this, at least, is clear. The battle over the Nuclear Posture Review and what it recommends isn’t over. It’s only beginning.

Mark Perry is a foreign policy analyst, a contributing editor to The American Conservative and the author of The Pentagon’s Wars, which was released in late 2017. He tweets @markperrydc [6]

34 Comments (Open | Close)

34 Comments To "Trump’s Nuke Plan Raising Alarms Among Military Brass"

#1 Comment By Whine Merchant On February 2, 2018 @ 5:48 am

Very many Conservatives [as opposed to apostles of the Grand Old Tea Party], do not believe in the HRC conspiracy theories. With such intense legal scrutiny, from Ken Starr to Trey Gowdy unable to find anything illegal, and refusing to believe in paranoid delusions of a Matrix-like “deep state”, the verdict is that HRC would have been just another middle-of-the-road politician, maintaining the status quo for vested interests and throwing a bone to her supporters around election time.

One thing even her greatest detractors must agree upon, is that she would have continued the Bush / Obama de-escalation of nuclear threat. There is no way even Rupert Murdoch would think that she would try to destabilise nuclear disarmament.

Where are the Trumpets now?? Crickets…

#2 Comment By FL Transplant On February 2, 2018 @ 8:40 am

As someone who was a crew dog in the 91 SMW back during the Cold War days, I don’t see much utility in the noted briefing to the 5 BW and 91 MW–lecturing a bunch of Captains and Lieutenants grumpy about being called in on a day off to listen to some guys from a think tank come and pontificate doesn’t do much to build support for any proposals.

#3 Comment By tzx4 On February 2, 2018 @ 9:48 am

Lowering the the threshold for use of nukes is just plain stupid, or even suicidal.

The human race possessing these things is insane. The best analogy I can think of is placing a basket of live hand grenades in a playpen full of toddlers. Sooner or later someone is going to get hurt.

An intelligent species would figure out how to build these things, but simply would not. It would be unthinkable. I present the existence of nukes as proof that we humans are slaves to our primal emotions, not our amazing cognitive and logical abilities.

#4 Comment By PAX On February 2, 2018 @ 10:05 am

To many Trump sounds good on immigration and other “sexy” issues. If he initializes a nuclear war, a decimated US will be a far less attractive place to live. He will definitely have fixed the immigration problem for all time. This is a sobering article. The current advisors to Trump are right out of the cast of “Let’s do Iraq.” We know how that turned out. These are the real swamp creatures who should go from the halls of government. How do we recapture a sane America for America?

#5 Comment By Bisley On February 2, 2018 @ 11:08 am

Regardless of the protests, there is a need for tactical nuclear weapons that can be used in situations short of total war and destruction of cities with millions of casualties.

There are many hardened targets (command and control centers, bunkers for political leadership, nuclear production facilities, etc.) hundreds of feet underground, tunneled into mountains, etc., that there is no certain, or practical way to destroy with conventional weapons. There need to be nuclear weapons of varying powers, suited to specific tasks, deliverable by short, or medium range missiles, artillery, etc. to deal with situations where conventional explosives just won’t do what needs to be done. The Russians, Chinese, and probably others, have these weapons — the US did in the past, and they need to be brought back.

#6 Comment By pax On February 2, 2018 @ 11:17 am

Should be For many Oops!

#7 Comment By SME On February 2, 2018 @ 12:03 pm

Did Stephen Glass co-write this? Almost everything in this article is false. TAC, what fact-checking did you do on this?

#8 Comment By thepanzer On February 2, 2018 @ 12:40 pm

Bisley you have no idea what you’re talking about. Did you even read the article? Any use of a tactical nuke is going to be a strategic issue. If we start using tac nukes for conventional fights then other nations will follow suite. Currently NO ONE is using tac’s against targets. The moment we use even one, then China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and every other nuclear state has the green light to follow suit in any conflict. We don’t need a string of tac nuke strikes in the countless and unending middle east wars for example. Likewise it will lower the bar for desiring entry into the nuckear power club. Nations without them will want tactical variants for their own low intesity conflicts since the first world nations have them. Likwise third world nations will want them as a deterrent against first world nations tendency to use them on a whim, which would rapidly be the case. If you make nukes just another bullet, they will be used like just another bullet. Mini-hiroshimas should not be a desired routine outcome.

#9 Comment By Dan Green On February 2, 2018 @ 2:28 pm

Everyday when I rise, I hope for some news, the Navy Seals got rid of the Little fat Rocket man.

#10 Comment By Peter Bargmann On February 2, 2018 @ 3:40 pm

Duck & cover all over again.

#11 Comment By william Bellah On February 2, 2018 @ 4:15 pm

9/11 traumatized a lot of folks especially those from New York City so it makes perfect sense to make a New York Ego Maniac Commander in Chief and put his finger on the Nuclear Button or am I thinking right?

#12 Comment By balconesfault On February 2, 2018 @ 4:20 pm

Nuclear escalation is just a part of Trump’s economic stimulus plan, I believe. Especially now that deficits no longer matter to the GOP.

#13 Comment By Lenny On February 2, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

Who said competence is needed to run a Government?
A nuclear armed one to boost.
Apparently any Dotard will do just fine

MAGA

#14 Comment By Eileen Kuch On February 2, 2018 @ 8:23 pm

Nuclear escalation a part of Trump’s economic stimulus plan? Seriously?
I don’t think so. This is total insanity, or even worse .. suicidal. Doesn’t he realize the consequences of nuclear escalation? No wonder, the military brass are alarmed; they know through simulations exactly what nuclear escalation would be, and it isn’t pretty. One thing they can do to put an end to this insanity .. They can disregard an order that’s illegal (and nuclear escalation is definitely illegal).

#15 Comment By Hexexis On February 2, 2018 @ 11:31 pm

“So now we’re going to rob our soldiers of weapons we really need in order to buy nukes that we don’t need?”

This is a decades-old argument. Traditionally, more nukes have meant less for troops. LtGen. Gavin retired in 1958 over the whole absurd deterrence caper; these days, nuke monsters use Clinton & Obama to bolster their claims. How sweet!

#16 Comment By JEinCA On February 3, 2018 @ 1:20 am

I didn’t vote for Trump to have my nation handed over to the military industrial complex, or the neocons, or Israel. I voted for Trump because I wanted my country back. Back in the hands of the average American Joe and Jane with a government that truly was Of the People, By the People and For the People. I didn’t vote for this *excrement*. These people are putting my children in danger. That means they are my mortal enemies. Not Russia. Not China. Not Iran. Not North Korea but the clown in the White House and his gang and all the prostitutes on Capitol Hill, and the neocon parasites, and AIPAC and all the damned money changers in DC. They are my true enemies and the true enemies of the American people.

#17 Comment By Dutch Brewster On February 3, 2018 @ 1:44 am

Modernization and recapitalization of our nuclear triad and the laboratories and research facilities that support them makes sense but should undergo a tough cost/benefit analysis. Other defense/attack technologies and their usefulness must be considered, too. How much of the debate is between spending to maintain the ultimate threat for deterrence and spending the same money on costly but perhaps insufficiently effective conventional weapons admirals and generals want? Unfortunately, nuclear nonproliferation has failed, so the counsel of Pollyannas who seek a nuke-free world deserves the rebuke of realism.

#18 Comment By Jeeves On February 3, 2018 @ 3:05 pm

Nothing is said in the article concerning what the Russians are doing about low-yield nuclear weapons. Quite a lot if this article paints an accurate picture.
[7]

So do the Russians think a first-use of a tactical weapon is strategic? If not, why are they building tactical weapons?

#19 Comment By cka2nd On February 3, 2018 @ 3:42 pm

It might have been nice if the author had at least nodded at the thought that the entire military budget is too high and that at least some of the resistance to this nuclear madness is motivated by a desire to keep the spigot open for equally unnecessary conventional weapons.

#20 Comment By LouisM On February 3, 2018 @ 7:21 pm

As alarming as it might sound to giving generals low grade nuclear bombs for the battlefield. We are now in a stage or world history where no major power can prevent nuclear proliferation.

Other major powers do have low grade nuclear bombs as evidenced by Russia’s so called suitcase nukes and low grade battlefield nukes. If Russia has it then China probably has some version though it would be the height of stupidity for them to do so. No matter how friendly Russia and China, friendship can descend to competitor and enemy…say if China wanted to annex the portion of Russia now settled predominantly by Chinese or if China claimed Russian territory as Chinese as China does with Tibet and Taiwan.

If no major power can control nuclear proliferation and nuclear bombs are now part of the 3rd world nations arsenal then its also only a matter of time before a 3rd world nation uses them against a minority, against a neighbor or to extort something from a major power or on behalf of a major power acting as a proxy.

Last point, these middling nations have high birthrates. Losing a million people in a totalitarian regime is no more concerning than when Bolsheviks killed 30 million Russians, Stalin killed 30 million Ukrainians, Ottomans killed millions of Armenians, Mao killed 70 million Chinese. HOWEVER EUROPE, RUSSIA, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA, TAIWAN, CHINA, CANADA AND THE US ARE ALL DEPOPULATING (EXCLUDING IMMIGRATION). DEPOPULATING NATIONS CANNOT AFFORD TO THROW PEOPLE AT A WAR NOR CAN THEY AFFORD LONGTERM HIGH CASUALTIES FROM A CONVENTIONAL WAR. NO 2 DEPOPULATING NATIONS WILL ENGAGE IN A WAR UNLESS ITS A MATTER OF SURVIVAL AND CAN BE DONE QUICKLY WITH MINIMAL LOST OF LIFE. BATTLEFIELD NUKES CAN TAKE OUT EVERY MILITARY BASE IN A NATION SIMULTANEOUSLY WHILE LEAVING POPULATION CENTERS AND FARMING AREAS AND FORESTRIES INTACT.

Tactical nuclear weapons are going to need some sort of agreement about their use.

#21 Comment By Whine Merchant On February 3, 2018 @ 10:24 pm

JEinCA posts: “I didn’t vote for Trump to have my nation handed over to the military industrial complex, or the neocons, or Israel.”

Oh yes you did, but chose not to listen to anyone outside of your bubble. I can understand the wanting to “hope for the best”, but Trump’s own behaviour told you exactly what he would do and to whom he would kow-tow. No one capable of reading TAC really believed his words. The excuse that HRC was dangerous or evil is just Grand Old Tea Party propaganda. She was just going to be another Bill, Bush & Obama.

Trump brayed “America First”, but it was always going to be “Israel First”.

MAGA! Ha, ha, ha!

#22 Comment By David Evans On February 3, 2018 @ 11:59 pm

low yield nukes you have to be kidding, these guys are nuts. Great article Mark…got me thinking about just how crazy the world can be in the time of Trump.

#23 Comment By ElitecommInc. On February 4, 2018 @ 2:38 am

“Oh yes you did, but chose not to listen to anyone outside of your bubble. I can understand the wanting to “hope for the best”, but Trump’s own behaviour told you exactly what he would do and to whom he would kow-tow. No one capable of reading TAC really believed his words.”

There absolutely was no bubble. The message from the inside, the established polity, democrats, republicans, liberals of all fashions, progressives did nothing but blare scream whine, have convulsions, called names for more than two years, castigated, attacked the faith, intentions and Christianity of anyone who stood any defense for the candidate — there was no bubble.

The clarions hysterics from media outlets, NATO, Germany, France and a host of made sure that no funnel, air wave, internet site, cable channel, including Fox, college campus admin, instructor or janitor or assistant insured that the complaints were heard loud and clear . . . the problem was that the alternatives were worse.

And certainly TAC was full of hair pulling whining, and all about near sky is falling – end of the world nonsense if the Mr trump was elected and the whole thing would my fault, I voted for him.

But the world didn’t end. With threats of impeachment and heavan knows what else the same made it clear they had no intention of relenting no matter what happened.

It did not matter that Mr Trump supported a sing;le player program, embraced same sex marriage, women’s everything, . . . Israel no less than they – more even, . . . and a huge military spening campaign just like them — unchristian me, mean spirited unfeeling, ignorant, racist me . . . would pay.

Yawn.

Ok. I thought the current executive had a stronger backbone. I thought his stamina and energy actually meant who could withstand the campaign could actually stand on his agenda, even knowing his situational instincts, I thought something might survive that would be worth the fight. That less than a year into his tenure he turned a good ol’ boy, republican, democrat whatever —— is disappointing, even worth some disdain and disapproval. Outwitted by his own advisers and utterly betrayed by those who had defeated in the campaign — his spine appears to be far less than what I would have expected.

I don’t run away from my vote. I don’t run away from why I voted for him. In other-words, he’s gone, but my agenda items remain. Certainly no other candidate had the wherewithal to even express them. My first loyalty is to my the ideas I think are best for the country, the man chosen to advocate for them is secondary. My disappointment real and always a possibility, that it arrived so soon, almost without a fight — is surprising. that is him , not me. My integrity is intact. My vote much to my chagrin has actually m ore enabled my opponents. A shy less than had the others been nominated, but I am certainly willing to admit — betrayal is not an appropriate term.

After some though, i think that Mr Giraldi is correct, if VP Pence had been elected, some issues might be worse, but not my by much.

Still this is the man I voted for, and where I can support I will. where I cannot, I won’t it’s that simple. But what has not happened is the world has not cascaded. Whites are still running the planet — even if its into ruin. The country is till lugging along. Not a single one of the skwakers were in any way negatively impacted by his election, though skwaking they still are.

As indicated by Dr. Bacivic’s book, no president has been able to withstand the real bubble of Washington politics. And while others may gloat, I absolutely content that i neither turned to nasty tricks, underhanded dealings, or fits (save in my own private space) at what appears at every level to be a a flap jack of an executive. i am content in my own self about where i stood, stand and why — the fact the chair is empty just means, i will vote for someone else to full , while advocating for my views.

At the moment, and thankfully, my integrity is not for sale. As with so many aspects of this presidency, it’s been revealing. And one of those revelations is who the real “deplorables” are —

those who can be bought at any price. delighted not to be among them as is my conscience.

#24 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 4, 2018 @ 2:40 am

“Oh yes you did, but chose not to listen to anyone outside of your bubble. I can understand the wanting to “hope for the best”, but Trump’s own behaviour told you exactly what he would do and to whom he would kow-tow. No one capable of reading TAC really believed his words.”

There absolutely was no bubble. The message from the inside, the established polity, democrats, republicans, liberals of all fashions, progressives did nothing but blare scream whine, have convulsions, called names for more than two years, castigated, attacked the faith, intentions and Christianity of anyone who stood any defense for the candidate — there was no bubble.

The clarions hysterics from media outlets, NATO, Germany, France and a host of made sure that no funnel, air wave, internet site, cable channel, including Fox, college campus admin, instructor or janitor or assistant insured that the complaints were heard loud and clear . . . the problem was that the alternatives were worse.

And certainly TAC was full of hair pulling whining, and all about near sky is falling – end of the world nonsense if the Mr trump was elected and the whole thing would my fault, I voted for him.

But the world didn’t end. With threats of impeachment and heavan knows what else the same made it clear they had no intention of relenting no matter what happened.

It did not matter that Mr Trump supported a sing;le player program, embraced same sex marriage, women’s everything, . . . Israel no less than they – more even, . . . and a huge military spening campaign just like them — unchristian me, mean spirited unfeeling, ignorant, racist me . . . would pay.

Yawn.

Ok. I thought the current executive had a stronger backbone. I thought his stamina and energy actually meant who could withstand the campaign could actually stand on his agenda, even knowing his situational instincts, I thought something might survive that would be worth the fight. That less than a year into his tenure he turned a good ol’ boy, republican, democrat whatever —— is disappointing, even worth some disdain and disapproval. Outwitted by his own advisers and utterly betrayed by those who had defeated in the campaign — his spine appears to be far less than what I would have expected.

I don’t run away from my vote. I don’t run away from why I voted for him. In other-words, he’s gone, but my agenda items remain. Certainly no other candidate had the wherewithal to even express them. My first loyalty is to my the ideas I think are best for the country, the man chosen to advocate for them is secondary. My disappointment real and always a possibility, that it arrived so soon, almost without a fight — is surprising. that is him , not me. My integrity is intact. My vote much to my chagrin has actually m ore enabled my opponents. A shy less than had the others been nominated, but I am certainly willing to admit — betrayal is not an appropriate term.

After some though, i think that Mr Giraldi is correct, if VP Pence had been elected, some issues might be worse, but not my by much.

Still this is the man I voted for, and where I can support I will. where I cannot, I won’t it’s that simple. But what has not happened is the world has not cascaded. Whites are still running the planet — even if its into ruin. The country is till lugging along. Not a single one of the skwakers were in any way negatively impacted by his election, though skwaking they still are.

As indicated by Dr. Bacivic’s book, no president has been able to withstand the real bubble of Washington politics. And while others may gloat, I absolutely content that i neither turned to nasty tricks, underhanded dealings, or fits (save in my own private space) at what appears at every level to be a a flap jack of an executive. i am content in my own self about where i stood, stand and why — the fact the chair is empty just means, i will vote for someone else to full , while advocating for my views. I knew going in – he was not a conservative, but then there are very few.

At the moment, and thankfully, my integrity is not for sale. As with so many aspects of this presidency, it’s been revealing. And one of those revelations is who the real “deplorables” are —

those who can be bought at any price. delighted not to be among them as is my conscience.

excuse the double post

#25 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 4, 2018 @ 2:48 am

Caveat:
Blacks will most likely negatively be impacted by the country once again embracing foreigners largely considered white. That is to my stead and I am pained that we have not turned the corner on that aspect of history.

But my opposition to such practices remain as staunchly opposed. It would have been worse, though not as obvious with any of the other candidates.

#26 Comment By JEinCA On February 4, 2018 @ 2:49 am

No Whine Merchant you are gravely mistaken. I never wore a damned MAGA hat. Hillary was, is and will continue to be a psychotic witch who should never be allowed to be in any position of power anywhere. The woman is a demented, murderous war criminal. I voted for Trump for one reason alone and that was to walk us back from the brink of WW3 with Russia that the Obama Administration took us to with the coup in Ukraine (a US backed coup). So you know what you and your ilk can do with your self righteous bull towards anyone who voted for Trump.

#27 Comment By Kyle On February 4, 2018 @ 5:21 am

Both sides I think have some good points, although I personally lean more towards the pro-modernization side. I do not see such modernization as any escalation when the likes of the Chinese, Russians, Iranians, and North Koreans are doing it. If anything, I would say it is more a response to their own actions. If they weren’t doing what they’ve been doing, then there would be no real argument in the U.S. to do such modernizing. They are the ones creating a new Cold War, not the proponents of modernization of the nuclear triad.

I also am curious about the argument that we do not need missile-launched tactical nukes because of bomber-delivered ones. Bombers can be shot down far more easily. On developing tactical nukes demonstrating weakness, I do not agree with that. Does anyone actually perceive Russia/China/Iran/North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear bombs as being a “sign of weakness” on their part? Such thinking strikes me as being of that left-wing political mindset that thinks weakness will create peace and strength will lead to war. The United States developing tactical nuclear weapons is not going to be seen as any sign of weakness by the likes of the Russians. At best, it would puzzle them perhaps if it really is truly unnecessary.

As for the argument that technically all nukes are strategic if used, that I find a good point that is interesting to think about. But to me the main point of modernization is for deterrence, so that we do not have to use the weapons.

#28 Comment By balconesfault On February 4, 2018 @ 3:07 pm

@JEinCA
I didn’t vote for Trump to have my nation handed over to the military industrial complex, or the neocons, or Israel.

Face it – you really had no idea what you’d get with Trump … you only had your aspirations.

Real estate developers are fantastic at playing people for suckers by getting them to hear what they want to hear.

#29 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 5, 2018 @ 12:21 am

“Real estate developers are fantastic at playing people for suckers by getting them to hear what they want to hear.”

ohh this is nonsense. I voted for Pres Bush. I did not think he’d get sucked into heading into Iraq or Afghanistan, bail outs, etc.

A candidate who changes course does not me or anyone else a “sucker”. The pretense of this game is to throw so much mud or arguments that when any of it actually plays out – you get to pretend at being astute soothsayers. Hardly.

I am unclear how much of the shift is him or the response to politics. But the shift, as I call it was loaded with warnings.

The strong talk of military posturing, his choice for admin., he embrace of Israel, embrace of same sex marriage, national healthcare, nuclear weapons investment . . . all of which are questionable (aside from updating our ND) . . .

The shift is on immigration, an aggressive military posture that violates other’s sovereignty . . . and a few others are a disappointment. Was it predictable, unclear. Was it better than the alternative absolutely.

Given the realities of life, against what was available and the values and positions long held — not a single p[person who voted on the agenda needs feel a sucker, even if they feel that way.

The persistent attack on the character of people like me has no bearing on what’s what. Apparently even those he beat are salivating and quite content . . .

Odd that he was a cad then and now a cad worthy of embracing. One could fill the space between here and Mars with the hypocrisy spewed out as wisdom. What he has successfully demonstrated just how bankrupt the entire system is. I am not sure my agenda is over, but if anyone got played it remains the opposition who . . . lapping it up as though its their win.

However, I am not sure whether one should laugh cry at being told they have aspirations as though that is a “bad thing.”

I would say that is a wonderful quality to hold on to despite what machinations the world tosses one’s way. I will take my aspirations before I would have voted any other way.

#30 Comment By Procopius On February 5, 2018 @ 8:52 pm

OK, the NPR is important. It’s dangerous, expensive, and unnecessary. But I don’t understand how it’s any different from the nuclear “modernization” program that President Obama started in 2014, which also increases the number of devices. Does it call for an even larger increase in the number of devices? I do recall some objections to the program then, but they were muted and quickly silenced by the owners of the MSM.

#31 Comment By Wizard On February 7, 2018 @ 10:00 am

Sorry, EliteCommInc., but voting for Trump for any reason other than “not Clinton” does make you a sucker. His record of dishonesty was well established long before he threw his hat into the presidential ring. Simple logic made it obvious he wouldn’t deliver on many of his promises, since they were simply impossible and contradictory. I won’t say aspirations are bad, but aspirations hopelessly untethered to reality are a very poor guide to action.

If “not Clinton” was your primary motive, fair enough. Given her record of simultaneously seeking power and ducking accountability and her habitual dishonesty, I certainly never thought she should be President.

#32 Comment By b. On February 12, 2018 @ 3:25 pm

“it is no longer available on the NIPP website”

Really? Maybe the correct title will help?

Keith B. Payne, “Nuclear Weapons: Ours and Theirs,” National Institute for Public Policy, May 7, 1999
[8]

#33 Comment By b. On February 12, 2018 @ 3:42 pm

“The NPR is asking [the boomers] to commit suicide.”

Worse, this would be a policy and doctrine that actively endangers the US strategic deterrent.

Payne et.al. are an example of the observation that, in a land where the sun of competence stands low, even dwarfs cast long shadows.

“Limited” nuclear war that makes Hiroshima-sized warheads “tactical”, with millions as “compatible with recovery.” This, from a nation that still has not recovered from 9/11.

Two references on “limited war” between two of the seven dwarfs that share the 7% of warheads not owned by the US or Russia:

[9]
[10]

One of the most stunning examples of the pervasive idiocy on the topic of nuclear war is the impact of using nuclear warheads – including “tactical” – against nuclear power plants, whether or not shut down, especially those facilities that have substantial on-site storage of depleted fuel elements.

This was a topic of research in the 70’s, try finding a publication – or a consideration – today. Europeans, as the “allies” most likely to be at the receiving end of US tactical gratitude, should be the most concerned about having nukes stored near, and aimed at, locations that also have civilian nuclear facilities.

#34 Comment By Tony On February 15, 2018 @ 10:43 am

“I can’t believe that this world can go on beyond our generation and on down to succeeding generations with this kind of weapon on both sides poised at each other without someday some fool or some maniac or some accident triggering the kind of war that is the end of the line for all of us. And I just think of what a sigh of relief would go up from everyone on this earth if someday–and this is what I have–my hope, way in the back of my head–is that if we start down the road to reduction, maybe one day in doing that, somebody will say, ‘Why not all the way? Let’s get rid of all these things’.”

President Reagan, May 16, 1983