Social Question

Rangie's avatar

Is the United States becoming more vulnerable, to the rest of the World?

Asked by Rangie (3656points) April 19th, 2010

Do you think it is a good idea to lower our number of nuclear weapons and missiles?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

74 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yes. We were possessed of “overkill” ability and a smaller, modernized and well maintained nuclear arsenal is more to be desired.

syz's avatar

Of course it’s a good idea to reduce the numbers – just how many times over do we need to be able to decimate the planet? We’re talking reduction here, not elimination. Not by a long shot.

plethora's avatar

And besides I don’t think there is anyone on earth who wouldn’t wish us well and want us to be as happy as we can possibly be.

UScitizen's avatar

To whom else could the US possibly become more vulnerable to, aliens??

laureth's avatar

How long has the rest of the world been vulnerable to the United States?

This sounds facetious, but is not. We’re a bully at the top of a hill. We do a good job of defending ourselves generally, but eventually even a bully has to sleep. Who watches the bully’s back?

We’re a post-peak empire trying to stay alert and stay alive. If we don’t have the wherewithal to be the world’s policeman anymore (we just can’t afford it), we’ll need friends. And it’s hard to make friends as, well, as the bully at the top of the hill.

lilikoi's avatar

Yes. Yes.

If we start using nuclear weapons, it won’t matter who is vulnerable. Everyone will lose.

VohuManah's avatar

We’re no longer in an “us v.s. them” dichotomy like we were in previous times with the USSR. There’s no point in having thousands of nuclear weapons when only a fraction is needed to destroy the global economy several times over. Mutual Assured Destruction will still continue with reduced numbers, though MAD is no longer as useful as it once was.

eponymoushipster's avatar

Sure is crazy.

I mean, if the US can’t blow up the world 100 times over, how will they protect themselves?~

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yes, we are becoming more vulnerable, so what?

Rangie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir do you think we owe it to the soldiers that died for this country, to continue to protect the land they died for?

Storms's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir So, the enemies of our nation are primitive totalitarians and theocrats and nature abhors a vacuum.

Your_Majesty's avatar

The United States is still as strong as ever for other third-grade countries. Oh don’t lower your nuclear weapons and missiles. I think The US is still that strong and if it lowers the quality/quantity of its military instrument/property then it will also lower its worldwide charisma and its ‘super-power country’ status. Many countries still adore its power.

plethora's avatar

We should speak very softly

gorillapaws's avatar

The day we invaded Iraq was the day we really exposed ourselves to other threats. North Korea, Iran, China, Terrorists, we had to divert resources away from them to go dick around in another country’s civil war.

As for nukes, I think @CaptainHarley stated it very well.

plethora's avatar

And carry a very big stick….which will enable us never to be required to use it. It’s not about weapons. It’s about the perception of strength. Of course, if Obama keeps going around the world turning friends into enemies, it won’t matter whether we have weapons or not.

@gorillapaws I think I agree with that post

laureth's avatar

@plethora – What friends is Obama turning into enemies? Last I heard, the world was pretty smitten with Obama. Do you mean Israel, because he’s trying to make them do the things that they told Bush they’d do, in regards to settlements built on land they promised to the Palestinians? I can’t think of anyone else, seriously.

gorillapaws's avatar

@plethora I agree we still need that big stick. One of my main concerns is the cost. In my opinion, we should try to maximize the dollar to stick-length ratio. Which is why a smaller, more sophisticated nuclear arsenal that @CaptainHarley is probably the way to go.

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Yes, smaller, more sophisticated seems to be the way of the day. Quality vs Quanity, I vote for quality every time.
When my mother first became a computer programmer, the IBM equipment required an entire room. They had to wear white glove whenever in that room. Big machines working away to do the same thing our little laptops do today. Refine for quality.

Rangie's avatar

This might be a good time to move on to a new Q.

CaptainHarley's avatar

This is one of the very few things I think Obama has done right, but I’m still going to wait and see how it works out in practice.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie sorry, i am anti the war in iraq and America playing war in general – I can’t get into a military conversation

plethora's avatar

@gorillapaws I would agree on smaller and better

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The more the US opens lines of communication and seeks to understand the desires and needs of other societies, the closer it comes to being safe from aggression and thus less vulnerable.

Reducing warhead counts but upgrading the arsenal is no real reduction of readiness to destroy all human life on the planet. For those who believe might makes right, you can still sleep well at night.

For those who understand that safety lies in reducing the number of your enemies, you realize that there is much more work to do.

plethora's avatar

@laureth You are one of my favorite people here and I love your comments, so I am not going to get into a chat about El Presidente. I’m just gonna vote….with a passion.

Rangie's avatar

This is probably not the best topic for this forum. We all have very strong views on this issue. We are not going to change each others minds. I AM SO SORRY FOR POSTING THIS Q.

filmfann's avatar

We have a lot, and it is a good idea to lower the number other countries have.

@Rangie don’t piss me off, or else!

Rangie's avatar

@filmfann or what my friend?

CaptainHarley's avatar

OMG! @filmfan : an enraged Gnome! RUN! : D

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. EVERYONE should have some nukes, that is the best way to assure no one ever uses them again oops everyone hasn’t just Uncle Sam. If you are fighting in a hay barn and you can’t get out and you and everyone else has a Molotov cocktail who will be dimb enough to use it knowing they will burn like those they try to get? The world is more dangerous when only arrogant people that feel they call all the shots are the only one to have them. Seeing how the last “Shock and Awe” went.

rooeytoo's avatar

Sure it’s a great idea until another 9/11 occurs because the rest of the world figures we have turned into pansy butts!

CaptainHarley's avatar

Why of COURSE North Korea and Argentina and Iran should have nuclear weapons! Then, when one of their wonderful leaders loses that last, tenous grip on reality and decides to nuke Tokyo, or Houston, or Jerusalem they can just push that lil ole button at their leisure.

JeffVader's avatar

There are two points I’d like to make…... firstly, how many times does America need to be able to destroy all life on Earth? Secondly, America is it’s own worst enemy, & any vulnerability it has it’s brought on itself.

syz's avatar

@plethora “if Obama keeps going around the world turning friends into enemies”
What?!? Where were you during the previous administration when we were universally (and understandably) reviled? Our relationship with the rest of the world has only improved under Obama. <shakes head in befuddlement>

@Rangie “This might be a good time to move on to a new Q.” Didn’t get the responses you were expecting? There seem to be pretty reasonable responses here, but you’re not interested? So, I guess that means that this wasn’t really a question seeking information, but an opportunity for a rant?

gorillapaws's avatar

@JeffVader It’s part of nuclear deterence theory. The idea is that you have enough nukes to completely take out Russia in one location, now you have lots of those locations scattered around many different places in the US and submarines around the planet. The idea being that if Russia ever launched a pre-emptive strike first, one of those launch sites would survive, and we would still have enough nukes to completely obliterate them.

Russia then knows that it’s impossible to attack us without itself being completely annihilated, and therefore it never tries. The existence of nukes deter a first strike and therefore help maintain peace. It seems kind of crazy, but there’s actually some logic to it.

@Hypocrisy_Central your argument is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. How well do you think the government of Somalia would be able to secure those nukes and keep them out of the hands of pirates who want to sell them to terrorists? Or a thousand other similar scenarios.

Deterrence only works if the state is able to fear nuclear retaliation. When it comes to terrorism, there is no way to retaliate with nuclear force. If the terrorists had detonated a nuke in NY city on 9/11, who would we have nuked back in retaliation? Afghanistan? would that knowledge really have deterred Osama Bin Laden from using the nuke in the first place?

JeffVader's avatar

@gorillapaws Yeh, the major flaw to this though is that Russia is & never was, the enemy. The Soviet Socialist Republic was, & thats long gone. I’m fully familiar with MAD, it’s just irrelevent now. There currently is no nuclear powered enemy with the will to do anything. Almost all of the nuclear armed nations are democracies who are broadly on the same side. & it still doesn’t answer the question of how many times does anyone need to be able to wipe out all life on Earth….. once you’ve done it once, thats it!

gorillapaws's avatar

@JeffVader North Korea and China are worrisome. China is constantly trying to hack into our government’s computers. I’m not saying it’s the same threat that it was during the cold war, but I don’t think international relations have gotten to the warm-and-fuzzy stage where we can afford to loose that nuclear deterrent.

JeffVader's avatar

@gorillapaws Indeed, they do present a few hedaches dont they…. thankfully not nuclear headaches though.

plethora's avatar

@syz My perspective is a bit longer than the Bush2 administration, so I don’t tend to revile, as the personification of Satan, George W or any other president of either party….with the possible exception of this one. One thing that does amaze me is the extreme villification of W compared to the extreme (lightheaded) exaltation of Obama. The gap is just too wide. I have to assume it comes from people born in the 80s who were not politically aware until the late 90s or early 2000s. I would also note that Fluther has an extreme attraction to shameless liberals and the usual suspects have blabbered on here so long and all sing the same tune, that I tend not to listen anymore.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@plethora

Great answer! I agree. Seems like we have a choice between political parties: the greedy, or the stupid. Sigh!

laureth's avatar

Or, you could vote based on issues and people, thinking for yourself instead of having to choose between two parties by name alone.

plethora's avatar

@laureth Sorry for the confusion. I agree. I was responding to the post that singled out Bush2 (Republicans). Issues and people are far more important.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@gorillapaws “How well do you think the government of Somalia would be able to secure those nukes and keep them out of the hands of pirates who want to sell them to terrorists? Or a thousand other similar scenarios.” Maybe about the same way many universities here with reactors on campus and flimsy at best security. 20/20 once did a piece on how many universities and colleges had reactors and that if a well trained troop of men or Blackwater type para-military people knew where they were they could be in and out in less than an hour. And even though there was not enough in most places to make a Hiroshima bomb if they had a large enough grew to hit several places simultaneously they had only need to hit 3 and they would have enough. But I suspect terrorist would find them an A.Q. Khan type ala Pakistan and just buy the stuff off Ebay Pakistan, Afghanistan etc.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@laureth

Thank you for informing me that I don’t think for myself. You’ll pardon me if I remain skeptical.

Response moderated
Dr_Dredd's avatar

The liberal lambs that live on Fluther, don’t have an ability to think about what is really best for this country, that is why you all say the same thing.

@Rangie, now who’s assuming they know what other people are thinking? You just did exactly what you called out @syz for doing.

Furthermore, the implication that people who don’t share your political views (e.g. “liberal lambs”) lack thinking capacity is just plain insulting. It’s too bad, because most of your comments have been pretty interesting, up until now.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Rangie why did you ask it on Fluther if all the folks that are on here are “liberal lambs” then? seems like it’s a stupid move. unless you were just looking to argue and it isn’t really a question, but a move to soapbox….oh…i see what you did there…

Rangie's avatar

@Dr_Dredd I am not assuming to know what they are thinking. I read what they are thinking.
Sometimes It is insulting to read some of the half assed
@eponymoushipster I didn’t say all, I said the liberal lambs.
Hey, think what you like, doesn’t influence me one way or another. Just because you say it, doesn’t make it true.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Rangie Well, then @syz read what you were thinking, too. Like I said, you did exactly what you berated other people for doing.

Response moderated
Rangie's avatar

FYI “He who speaks last, loses”

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Rangie oh, fun. are you gonna join the mantra club like @Hypocrisy_Central? fun fun. i see you’ve typed that in all caps on your profile. Caps Lock is like cruise control for winning arguments and seeming smarter. you did it! you found the key!

any other insights, oh great one?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

<gushes> Dang…..I get remembered again, and I was not even in that exchange. Ummmm…maybe someone is feeling vulnerable; bring out the nukes hit them first, RELEASE THE CRACKIN! LOL LOL

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Personal attacks are not permitted and have been removed.

plethora's avatar

@CaptainHarley

“Thank you for informing me that I don’t think for myself. You’ll pardon me if I remain skeptical.”

Very good….quick!!!

laureth's avatar

@CaptainHarley – I would say the same thing to anyone who claims they have to choose between two distasteful parties. <shrug>. I wasn’t suggesting moving to a “think for yourself” state from a “not thinking for yourself” state so much as pointing out a different criteria to use when making choices.

mattbrowne's avatar

You mean the US is more vulnerable because being able to kill all enemies just twice instead of five times isn’t safe enough?

JeffVader's avatar

@mattbrowne Thank you….. I was begining to think I was the only person struggling with that!

gorillapaws's avatar

@mattbrowne in order to have a credible nuclear deterrent, you need to have enough nukes so that after being surprised-attacked, you have enough to completely obliterate the country that attacked you, otherwise, they’ll strike first.

JeffVader's avatar

@gorillapaws But whats the ratio? How many time do you need to be able to destroy someone for it to be a deterant, surely just once….. & do you really think other countries are out their with itchy trigger fingers just praying that the US decommisions more nukes & they can attack?

gorillapaws's avatar

@JeffVader Well almost all of our nukes will be destroyed in the initial strike, so that’s why you need so many. I believe the ratio is derived from the number that the attacker has (which is why the proposed treaty scales back proportionately with both sides).

I don’t think there’s any nuclear state who has any imminent desire to nuke us, but all it takes is one coups, or bad election, and then you could have a serious shit-storm on your hands. It would certainly take longer to build up our nuclear arsenal than for a coups to take place.

I’m for the treaty, but as I’ve indicated, I would much prefer to have a smaller, cheaper, more sophisticated nuclear arsenal than the one we have today.

Here’s something worth thinking about though that’s a bit unnerving. Imagine a world with the US and Russia being the only nuclear countries. Now let’s say they only had enough nukes to obliterate the other once-over, and that’s it. If you believed that either side would arrive at the conclusion at any future point in time that a nuclear conflict between the two nations was inevitable, then the only rational strategy would be a full-preemtive strike. Think about that. Which is why we have so many nukes, so that the only rational strategy is to not strike pre-emptively.

I’m not an expert on the subject, but I did write a small paper on the subject in College so I’m familiar with the basics. I was trying to understand why we have so many nukes myself, and I realized there’s a really grotesque, but legitimate reasoning behind it.

JeffVader's avatar

@gorillapaws Hmmmm, that is disturbingly logical….. thanks for the eye opener.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@gorillapaws That is interesting. I wonder, though, how many people would think that either side would arrive at the conclusion that a nuclear conflict was inevitable between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. At least with the Russians, you could be fairly sure they had their own best interests at heart (which would presumably include not destroying the world).

It’s completely different, though, if you’re dealin with religious fanatics like some of the terrorist regimes today.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Dr_Dredd if you only had enough nukes to obliterate the other country once-over then it wouldn’t destroy the world. Remember, you only need to conclude that either country might at some future point believe that nuclear war was inevitable.

mattbrowne's avatar

@gorillapaws – There are more than enough nukes. Even WOPR, the computer, figured that out almost 30 years ago.

gorillapaws's avatar

@mattbrowne I agree there’s too many, and I’m happy with the treaty. I just wanted people to understand why we ever stockpiled so many in the first place.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@gorillapaws We (the US) stock poled all thise WMD (we didn’t have Japan to use them on anymore) because as soon as those big bad Soviets got more they were going to whack us, so we had to always have more or better (even though Uncle Sam was the ONLY one to ever actually use them) than they had.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The biggest risk in the modern world is not from attacks from other countries. It is from non-state political/military groups who are not responsible to any nation of citizens or electors.
The prospect of such groups, armed with nuclear weapons that have gone missing from the arsenals of former or current states represents the greatest risk to countries concerned with their own security. The size of the nuclear arsenal of the USA will make little or no difference against these real and growing threats. Aside from targets of economic or political convenience such as attacking some country that has something the USA wants, there will be no sensible targets against which to retaliate when an attack comes from some non-national group with violent intentions against the USA for its real or perceived failings in the world.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@mattbrowne Ah, the WOPR. I forgot about that. How about a nice game of chess?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Yes.

We have a leader that not only apologizes for our existence but also alienates perfectly good first world capitalist allies such as Germany by spying on their leaders.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Also, We need to come to terms with the fact that the War On Terrorism cannot ever really be over while still keeping our wits about us..

Our enemies have told us plainly that they have no intention of ever stopping.

We need to get smart, combine our various forces while preserving our privacy and way of life as they swore to attack both.

After the 1992 World Trade Center bombing we heard the term “War on Terror” for the first time in a speech made by President Clinton.

This is a mindset as much as anything else.

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