Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2010
Mutual Assured Destruction

The 112th Congress should
  • repudiate the policy of "Mutual Assured Destruction" and destroy all nuclear weapons wherever they may be found.

Imagine the leader of Slobovia announces that he has nuclear weapons, and if the leader of any Nation engages in a policy that sufficiently offends the leader of Slobovia, he is prepared to annihilate hundreds of thousands or even millions of innocent non-combatant civilians in that Nation.

We should all agree that the leader of Slobovia is a madman, and should be deposed even for threatening such mass murder.

But that has been the policy of the United States federal government for decades. The U.S. has threatened to nuke any nation that strikes the U.S. first. The theory is that this threat would deter a first strike, by promising "Mutually Assured Destruction."

This is Not Defense.

This does not prevent the first strike by shooting ballistic missiles out of the sky before they explode.

This is retaliation for a first strike; retaliation that wipes out millions of innocent non-combatant civilians who probably didn't like the leader of Slobovia any more than we do.

"Mutual Assured Destruction" (MAD) is a strategy

based on the concept that neither the United States nor its enemies will ever start a nuclear war because the other side will retaliate massively and unacceptably. MAD is a product of the 1950s’ US doctrine of massive retaliation, and despite attempts to redefine it in contemporary terms like flexible response and nuclear deterrence, it has remained the central theme of American defense planning for well over three decades. (Col. Alan J. Parrington, USAF)

In San Francisco, on September 18, 1967, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara outlined the theory of "Mutual Deterrence":

The cornerstone of our strategic policy continues to be to deter nuclear attack upon the United States or its allies. We do this by maintaining a highly reliable ability to inflict unacceptable damage upon any single aggressor or combination of aggressors at any time during the course of a strategic nuclear exchange, even after absorbing a surprise first strike. This can be defined as our assured-destruction capability.

It is important to understand that assured destruction is the very essence of the whole deterrence concept. We must possess an actual assured-destruction capability, and that capability also must be credible. The point is that a potential aggressor must believe that our assured-destruction capability is in fact actual, and that our will to use it in retaliation to an attack is in fact unwavering. The conclusion, then, is clear: if the United States is to deter a nuclear attack in itself or its allies, it must possess an actual and a credible assured-destruction capability.

In other words, if the Soviet Union attacked the United States with nuclear weapons, killing millions of innocent American civilians, the United States would retaliate with equal or greater strength, killing millions of innocent non-combatant Russian civilians involuntarily enslaved under communism.

Obviously "MAD" is mad; an insane policy for a Christian nation to have.

Gen Henry H. “Hap” Arnold reminds us that

modern equipment is but a step in time and that “any Air Force which does not keep its doctrines ahead of its equipment, and its vision far into the future, can only delude the nation into a false sense of security.”3 Furthermore, nuclear weapons did not keep the peace in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Balkans, Africa, or Latin America, even though one side in those wars often possessed “the Bomb” and theoretically should have coerced the other side into submission.4 By one estimate, 125 million people have died in 149 wars since 1945.5 (Parrington)
3. Air Force Manual (AFM) 1-1, Basic Aerospace Doctrine of the United States Air Force, 1984, 4–7.
4. Robert Frank Futrell, Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine: Basic Thinking of the United States Air Force , vol. 2, 1961–1984 (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: Air University Press, 1989), 99.
5. This is the estimate of John Otranto, executive director, Global Care, Munich, Germany.

In order for nuclear deterrence to work, it is likely that there would have to be periodic and regular use of nuclear weapons, killing millions of innocent, non-combatant civilians, just to send the message to potential enemies that "We really mean it."

Obviously "MAD" is mad; an insane policy for a Christian nation to have.

next: Strategic Nuclear Forces and Missile Defense