Hugh Hewitt is conducting a write-in symposium, and asks three questions:
My symposium questions: Did Kerry blunder in denouncing nuclear bunker busters? If so, why? If so, how great the damage to his candidacy?
He concludes shortly by citing articles that are critical to the efficacy of bunker-busting atomics. I think that the efficacy of in-ground atomics is completely irrelevant to this symposium. The articles he cites (after skimming trough them) are composed mostly of speculation on the part of mechanics experts and how they “might not work” in incinerating chemical and biologic weapons that may be hidden in the bunkers that these atomics target.
Let me ask the question that trumps Hugh’s unasked question over their efficacy: just how much should the American public—and the rest of the world as a result of our communications technologies—know about our reasearch into atomic weapons? We are not a militaristic society whose children are raised into military tactics and research. We are not such a society whose citizens work like a well-oiled war machine. There are plenty of things in the ways of war that the Average American not only does not want to know, but should not know.
If you are a blogger who is completely in the know over the workings of in-ground atomics, it would be irresponsible for you to write something on this subject as an authority. If you know that these weapons work, it is irresponsible to inform the enemy. If you know that these weapons do not work, it is also irresponsible to inform the enemy, unless the ineptitude of the weapons being reasearched has become common knowledge in the scientific community, outside of the intelligence institutions.
So, Mr. Hewitt, dear friends, we can not have an honest and knowledgable debate over the efficacy of bunker-busting atomics because doing so may allow us to reveal tactical information to those who do not deserve this knowledge.
With that set aside, Hugh’s first two questions: Did Kerry blunder in denouncing nuclear bunker busters? If so, why?
Indeed Kerry made a huge blunder, and I see two perspectives from his quote:
Right now the president is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to research bunker-busting nuclear weapons. The United States is pursuing a new set of nuclear weapons. It doesn’t make sense.
You talk about mixed messages. We’re telling other people, “You can’t have nuclear weapons,” but we’re pursuing a new nuclear weapon that we might even contemplate using.
Not this president. I’m going to shut that program down, and we’re going to make it clear to the world we’re serious about containing nuclear proliferation.
First he is whining over the money being spent on these weapons. What does Kerry know, and what has he given away to the enemy that continues to watch us? Does he know for a fact that bunker-busters are inept? It isn’t even the production of these weapons that he opposes, but the research into them. Again, does he know that these weapons don’t work? Does he know that they will be useless once perfected? Research and development of these weapons is geared towards finding how useful they are. Kerry is complaining about the money being pumped into the research into these weapons, as if he has taken for fact the articles that Hugh Hewitt cited.
Second, he seems ashamed, ashamed, that those who we think do not deserve atomics would say that we are hypocrites. Leading by example in this case is not our disarmament, but prudent use. Since the two atomics we dropped on Japan we have not found such a great need that we’d use more, but the Pandora’s box has been opened and closing it won’t put what came out back. Senator Kerry’s big blunder here—in addition to his reckless assertions that the enemy may construe as useful information—is his naivete. Those who do not live by the sword will still die by it. Not having atomics does not make us immune from such an attack. The logic that our possession of such weapons makes us a more viable target, too, is most naive.
Hugh’s second question: If so, how great the damage to his candidacy?
I try not to delve into election speculations, especially when it involves populations of voters, but here’s how his opinions have affected me. Following the debate I was not so afraid of a President Kerry; there are other ways to ensure our foreign policy goals. However, the more I re-evaluate his statements, the more I concentrate on the inconsistencies in the matter of his arguments, the more I am worried that his foreign policy applies to a time in the future when there is no conflict within members of our species, when there is truly a “brotherhood of man” in place. A time that there is no place at all for a “foreign policy.” A time that only the most utopian science fiction nuts dream of. A time that is not now.