Saturday, February 11, 2006

New nuclear weapons an unnecessary evil

SCIENTISTS are cooking up an old favorite — the H-bomb — for the first time in 20 years, and we can't help but to wonder why.

This isn't just theoretical work — the plan, if it is approved by the president and Congress, is to completely revamp the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The bombmakers say the new weapons will be easier to maintain and can be remotely defused if they should fall into the wrong hands. Or at least that's what they're supposed to do. Because the weapons are only in the design stage and are untested, there's no telling how they would perform.

According to officials, the plans, being worked on at national laboratories in Livermore and Los Alamos, New Mexico, include a factory that could produce more nuclear weapons as needed.

But what does that mean — "as needed"? The United States has thousands of warheads, and it's hard to understand why we need more. Building the bombs would mean diverting resources from other areas at a time when the United States already is facing a huge deficit.

During the Cold War, our nation's officially stated policy was that nuclear weapons were to act as a deterrent. If that is true, the thousands of warheads we now possess should be more than enough to satisfy that need.

We're not suggesting abandoning research, but nuclear weapons are part of the Cold War paradigm. The United States finds itself in a new century, fighting a new kind of war; one in which nuclear warheads aren't effective weapons against the enemies we face.

Producing more nukes makes no sense. Our country already has 5,700 nuclear warheads — isn't that enough to get the job done? We fail to see how more nuclear weapons will make America safer.


Post a Comment

<< Home