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May 29, 2006

Pentagon Wants Rapid-Strike Conventional-Warhead Trident

Sounds like a damn good idea.

The Pentagon is seeking congressional approval for development of a new weapon able to strike distant targets an hour after they are detected, a newspaper reported on Monday.

The International Herald Tribune said the weapon would be a non-nuclear version of the submarine-launched Trident-2 missile and be part of a president's arsenal when considering a pre-emptive attack.

The report quoted military officials as saying it could be used to hit terrorist camps, enemy missile sites, suspected caches of weapons of mass destruction and other urgent threats.

General James Cartwright, head of the U.S. Strategic Command, said the system would allow U.S. forces to attack targets conventionally and precisely and "limit the collateral damage".

The Pentagon would like the system available in two years, the report said.

Why haven't they done this already? Cruise missiles are nice and all, but they have teeny-tiny little warheads. You can put a much bigger explosive load on top of a Trident.

But the program has run into resistance from lawmakers concerned it could increase the risk of an accidental nuclear war. Under the Pentagon plan, both non-nuclear and nuclear-tipped variants of the Trident-2 missile would be loaded on the same submarines.

...

"It would be hard to determine if a missile coming out a Trident submarine is conventional or nuclear," the Rhode Island Democrat said.

What a shock that resistance comes from Democrats.

Well, Mr. Reed, here's the thing: stealth fighters and stealth bombers can also carry nuclear weapons. Indeed, they were designed with that mission in mind. And yet we do not shy away from using some of our best first-strike planes in combat simply because they could carry nukes, and someone could get the wrong idea.

Why would Russia assume that a ballistic missile sub is launching a nuclear weapon, when they know the sub also carries conventional-warhead tridents? Wouldn't they sort of realize that's it's far more likely a conventional weapon is being launched?

And why would they then attack us with nuclear weapons, just because we may or may not be launching nuclear weapons against a third country?

The Left's attempt to cast themselves as The Company of the Fearless sure doesn't squre very much with their constant fretting.


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posted by Ace at 02:03 PM

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