The one that caught my eye was that of:
We have thousands of nuclear weapons and numerous ways to deliver them with pinpoint accuracy. If the Islamofascists ever made the mistake of using nukes, they will have lost the war, for we would retaliate, and the nascent Caliphate would die in nuclear fire
I’m not so sure that we would use them. Or, at least, it would depend two things:
- Who is in the White House
- What type of nuclear weapon was used
Right now, we have shown in the last three major conflicts (Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq) that we will not wage total war (think Sherman’s march to the sea during our Civil War, for instance).
Nowadays, we target pretty much only military and terrorists – we are not taking out their supporting infrastructure (structures or populations). In contrast, during WWII, everything was obliterated and much of Europe and Japan lay in ruins in the major population centers. This was partly due to the technology (it is not easy to land a dumb bomb on a given target from thousands of feet in the air) and partly, we were serious about breaking the will of the people and manufacturing that supported those militaries. As Rob over at Who Would Reagan Vote For points out here
According to Clausewitz.com the theory of war he created "aims at the utter overthrow of the enemy through the destruction of his physical means to resist.
Along with other factors (like we just flat out out-produced the Axis Powers in war and supportive material), it worked. If that same mentality were in play today, Vietnam might not be communist and we might have already be finishing up the the reconstruction of Iran started back in the 80’s. The Israelis are not waging all out war like they did in times past either.
Why? Too much emphasis is placed on public opinion, domestic or foreign, to do what is necessary. Increasingly, war in the West is fought by the PR folks; it almost seems that military action is secondary. Our enemies are using that "civil" streak in us to our own disadvantage, and we do not fight back (ok, the blogs are trying!).
Anyways, back to the point. If it was "just a dirty bomb", and if a Democrat was the President (and given that most of the leading Dem candidates seem to be much more pacifistic than Republican ones), I have severe doubts that the "gates of hell" of our nuclear armory would be loosed. I’m not even sure we’d start using the Daisy Cutters or MOABs either. A couple of Tomahawks, maybe.
Give an actual warhead (a real bomb vs one that just scattered radioactive material), all bets are off. However, there would be a lot of hang wringing going on before the Big Red Button would be pressed. We have enough conventional means to literally take most nations back to the Stone Age without going nuclear, and I think those might be used absolutely IF we could get past the point of figuring out who is getting a miserable visit (when it absolutely, positively, has to be destroyed overnight…).
Nukes? The jury is still out here…..