Military Review

Nuclear issues and the peacefulness of the American voter

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Nuclear issues and the peacefulness of the American voter

American politicians run counter to their constituencies when it comes to nuclear weapons... This is precisely the conclusion that can be made by reading the reports on sociological research in the United States on some important issues of strategic stability.


"Also, I believe the Minuteman should be destroyed."


The Democratic Party of the United States, its voters and political activists, and the Republican Party of the United States and its voters and political activists are competing more and more fiercely within the country, and their confrontation has long gone from the stage of the usual struggle of the Nanai boys under the carpet, and more and more looks like a situation civil conflict or even war (recall the recent events and the "Negromaidan" unleashed by the democrats and Biden's entourage). And their official positions and behavior in general are such that they increasingly seem to be worlds far from each other. However, as polls show, with regard to nuclear weapons and attitudes towards them, the opinions of voters of these parties are practically identical and differ only in percentage.

According to a new report from the University of Maryland Public Consultation Program, 61 percent of Americans, including both the Democratic and Republican communities, that is, the majority, are in favor of phasing out the "obsolete fleet" of US ICBMs, now 400 single-shot "Minuteman-3" mine basing. And in general, for abandoning the ground component of the strategic nuclear triad. This conclusion is both unexpected and remarkable in that it directly contradicts the current plan to spend more than $ 100 billion (much more - the price of the program is growing by leaps and bounds) on the development, testing and production and subsequent deployment of new GBSD ICBMs. That is, the opinion of voters directly contradicts the opinion of the US leadership, the Pentagon and the Capitol (although there is a very strong opposition to this project, constantly putting a spoke in the wheel). The survey, entitled "The General Position of the American People," is a compilation of studies from the past five years that collected data from nearly 86 people.

Moreover, the methodology of the survey was such that it seemed to put the respondents in the shoes of the politicians themselves: they were first given a certain squeeze on this issue, then the argumentation of various political forces and politicians, experts, and then their opinion was asked. The unique survey methodology is very revealing, as it allows readers of the report to see which arguments were considered most or less convincing and by whom. For example, the Republicans preferred the proposal to phase out ICBMs while maintaining the same number of deployed warheads on other carriers, while Democrats preferred the proposal to phase out ICBMs and reduce the arsenal to fewer deployed warheads. That is, approximately the same thing that Obama tried to achieve from Russia at one time with proposals to "further reduce levels" on START III, and at the same time the United States discussed a proposal to abandon the ground component and unilaterally reduce the crediting charges of strategic nuclear forces to about 3 1000. This topic was exaggerated almost until the very elections of 1100, despite the hysteria about "Russian aggression" in Syria, Crimea, or Donbass. It is clear why this is so: the problems of the US nuclear weapons complex are not a secret for specialists, as well as for those interested in the issue.

The logic of "refuseniks" from ICBMs is stupid in fact, but useful for us


But the main finding of the survey study is that, regardless of how the phase-out of the ground-based component of the US strategic nuclear forces occurs, 69 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Republicans agree that the ground-based portion of the nuclear triad should be completely eliminated. The logic of the "refuseniks" is about the same as that of American researchers in the field of strategic stability, who are mostly Democrats and adhere to a policy of further reduction of US arsenals: ICBMs are outdated, destabilizing and very expensive. In their opinion, ICBMs are largely remnants of the Cold War, when the United States and the USSR were equally afraid of a surprise nuclear attack. They consider it obsolete the thesis that the possession of large arsenals of ICBMs as weapons with the highest reaction rate and the minimum (for our systems - literally tens of seconds for mine and a few minutes for mobile ICBMs) preparation time for launch, keeps the enemy from a sudden massive nuclear missile strike ( SLBMs do not have such operational efficiency, though). They say that in today's multipolar nuclear environment, the likelihood of such an attack is extremely small, and therefore ICBMs are no longer of great strategic value. Given the abundance of more flexible options in the American arsenal, US Strategic Command would certainly turn to nuclear bombers or submarines rather than ICBMs in the event of a low-risk nuclear crisis. Of course, this opinion is absolute nonsense, but for us Russians, of course, it is useful when such delusions are spreading among our main enemy. But let's continue.

In addition, the "refuseniks" believe that the "innate vulnerability" of the ICBM group actually creates psychological pressure, forcing it to be used immediately and first in the event of a crisis. They believe that ICBMs deployed throughout the United States are “use or lose” weapons. In the event of a false alarm, accident, or miscalculation, this pressure to “use them” could inadvertently trigger a nuclear war. No other nuclear weapon in the US nuclear arsenal has such destabilizing psychological pressure, in their opinion. And this is definitely nonsense. Maybe the Minutemans in their rather weakly protected silos in comparison with ours and those who do not have such advanced launch support systems even after a strike on the installation itself (cutting and filling systems and other ways to get out of the grave and take revenge) are also “vulnerable”. Although this vulnerability is very relative. But the Russian silos, however, not all, but many, even in the case of a direct hit on them (a direct hit of a nuclear weapon in a silo means that the installation got into the crater formation zone after the explosion at least partially) have a survival rate, let's say, very distant from zero. And for their reliable defeat, the enemy needs to spend not even 2 BB, one after the other, but at least 3. There is nothing to say about the "innate vulnerability" of mobile complexes. In addition, the survival rate of bombers is even lower, they are highly dependent on airfields, and they cannot be dispersed on every alternate airfield, and you cannot plant them on a road or ground. Yes, and not everything is in order with the boats, especially when they are in the base - there their vulnerability is extremely high, and they will definitely try to use them immediately from the berth as soon as possible. In general, SSBNs are to a large extent a weapon not only for a retaliatory and deep retaliatory strike, but also for the first, especially a sudden one. But the voter in the United States does not understand such matters. Nobody is going to ask our voter what he thinks on such specific issues.

Quite rightly (but not for "refuseniks"), the Pentagon argues that ICBMs are needed as a "hedge of risk" in case (more precisely, when) the enemy's technical progress (read: "Poseidons") suddenly makes the US SSBN vulnerable. However, the 2018 US Nuclear Posture Review denies the very possibility of this, and Congress on this basis "squeezed" money for the development of a mobile version of GBSD. The "refuseniks" claim that American boats are very quiet and will become quieter, and therefore they are not in danger. In general, if you feed the whole world with myths about the exclusivity of yourself, then you yourself will believe in them first.

Honest non-corruption sawing


Well, the main argument of the "refuseniks" is much more prosaic: replacing the Minuteman-3 ICBMs with new missiles would be extremely expensive. The latest estimate for ground-based strategic deterrence, as the replacement program is called, is approximately $ 100 billion. In fact, these costs are expected to rise further, given that the contract will be awarded exclusively to Northrop Grumman after Lockheed Martin was kicked out of the competition and Boeing pulled out of the competition. The chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee called the development “very worrying,” and the single-party contract even prompted a FTC investigation into Boeing's accusations of anti-competitive behavior. But it looks like their own people will cover their own. people and the matter will end in nothing.

If a new poll demonstrating that both Democrats and Republicans want to abandon MDBs altogether, then why is this $ 100 billion project still moving forward and funded? This question is asked by voters, experts, and social scientists from Maryland. In the midst of elections, a recession and a devastating pandemic, it seems to them that common sense is to at least hold on to the GBSD program. Matt Korda of the Federation of American Scientists writes that the arms contractors' vigorous lobbying efforts have hampered public scrutiny of the program. And that Northrop-Grumman spent more than $ 162 million on lobbying between 2008 and 2018, with the bulk of the contributions going to members of the “IDB Team,” a coalition of senators from the states where the IDBs are deployed. (In the United States, "there is no corruption" - any liberal in Russia will tell you that.)

In 2018, these lobbying efforts helped "kill" an amendment to the law that required a feasibility study to extend the life of current ICBMs, rather than build new ones. This has led to the suppression of public debate about the future of the ICBM and the fact that supporters of the program simply keep the voter in the dark like a champignon mushroom and feed what mushrooms are fed (in the American proverb). In general, of course, it is clear that if the Americans do not develop a new ICBM now, then in 15-20 years it will be much more difficult for them to do this - the gap in the generations of developers and production workers will be terrible, they will have to learn to do everything from scratch.

The University of Maryland report offers a new tool to tackle nuclear businessmen. The poll shows that corporate lobbying and “special interests” alienate the public from its elected representatives and further divide the two political parties. However, the study clearly shows that without monetary interests, Democrats and Republicans agree on key issues far more than one would think, and than their party leaders agree. And in this particular case, it is clear that most of both sides want to gradually abandon ICBMs. We, of course, support this positive unilateral process, and the "lame" triad (more precisely, the dyad) of US strategic nuclear forces will suit us much more. If this ever happens, politicians in the United States listen to voters very selectively.

The US is populated by nuclear pacifists, but ruled by nuclear hawks


But the voters of the two largest parties want to give up not only the MDBs. Another Gallup poll ahead of the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shows that 75% of Americans approve of the strikes, and 69% say that building nuclear weapons was a good thing. At the same time, according to the Chicago Research Council, the new arms race is recognized as a critical threat to the United States, 55% among Democrats, 43% of Republicans and 46% among supporters of the Independents. Moreover, according to the same Council, the question "Who should own nuclear weapons?" answered as follows: 11% of all respondents (19% of Republicans, 7% of Democrats and 8% of independents) chose the option "Only the United States and its allies should be allowed to have nuclear weapons." Dreaming is not harmful! Further, 15% of all voters (21% of Republicans, 9% of Democrats and 17% of independents) chose the "status quo" option, that is, "Only countries that already have nuclear weapons should continue to own them." That is, a non-proliferation option. Very few, 7% of all (5% of voters in the two large old parties and 10% of independent ones) chose the option "Any country that is capable of developing nuclear weapons can own them," that is, "nuclear libertarianism." But the most sensational answer, "No country should have nuclear weapons," was chosen by 66% of all Americans (54% Republicans, 78% Democrats, and 64% independents). Moreover, this poll showed almost the same results both 15 and 10 years ago, except that there were slightly fewer supporters of "complete refusal". And in other Council polls, more than two-thirds of Americans from 2 to 3 consistently responded that nonproliferation should be the foundation of American foreign policy.

The only problem is that the actions of the American administrations are much less reasonable than the opinions of ordinary voters, many of whom even Russia and China, about which they are constantly buzzing in their ears with all sorts of nasty things, will not be found on the map on the first try. And they wanted to sneeze at these voters. Although many are also confused in the world map.
Author:
Photos used:
USAF, nationalmuseum.af.mil, commons.wikimedia.org
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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 15 August 2020 04: 59 New
    +2
    According to a new report from the University of Maryland Public Consultation Program, 61 percent of Americans, including both Democratic and Republican communities, are in favor of phasing out the "obsolete fleet" of US ICBMs, now 400 single-shot Minuteman-3 mine lungs. basing.
    Well, if we start asking and we will get the same thing. fool In such cases, experts decide, not the street. fool
    1. Lech from Android.
      Lech from Android. 15 August 2020 05: 13 New
      +7
      Yeah. ..Gorbachev and Yeltsin came to the conclusion .... they almost ruined the country.
      1. Mavrikiy
        Mavrikiy 15 August 2020 05: 41 New
        0
        Quote: Lech from Android.
        Yeah. ..Gorbachev and Yeltsin came to the conclusion .... they almost ruined the country.

        Would they ask the street and leave everything? Amazing fool, however, from Android. request
        1. Lech from Android.
          Lech from Android. 15 August 2020 05: 56 New
          -2
          You might think your experts make the final decision in international treaties .. amazing naivety. no
          1. Mavrikiy
            Mavrikiy 15 August 2020 05: 59 New
            -1
            Quote: Lech from Android.
            You might think yours experts make the final decision

            Our specialists, these are our specialists And we trust them. yes
            1. Lech from Android.
              Lech from Android. 15 August 2020 06: 02 New
              +4
              Well, you know better from Mauritius. Specialists are different ... I prefer not to trust anyone too much ... life has taught me.
              1. Mavrikiy
                Mavrikiy 15 August 2020 06: 16 New
                +2
                Quote: Lech from Android.
                Well, you know better from Mauritius. Specialists are different ... I prefer not to trust anyone too much ... life has taught me.

                You are easier there, take care of yourself. hi And it will turn out like in a joke.
                There are two friends.
                - Well how are you?
                - Yes ... The boss is m ...., the wife is b ...., the son is a poor student, the job is for ...., the salary is ....
                - Life is arranged by a vest. The black stripe will pass, then the white will go.
                Meet again.
                - Well how are you?
                - You know, but that stripe was still white. hi
                1. Lech from Android.
                  Lech from Android. 15 August 2020 06: 32 New
                  +1
                  smile Thank you for your kind words.
                2. antivirus
                  antivirus 15 August 2020 09: 11 New
                  +1
                  when the black stripe lasts too long --------------- it is necessary to turn 90 degrees and walk along the white stripe, parallel to the black one, although first you need to go to the white stripe
        2. RUnnm
          RUnnm 15 August 2020 09: 04 New
          0
          So they asked about the fate of the USSR at the referendum. But their result, obviously, did not please and, spitting on the results, ruined the country.
    2. siberalt
      siberalt 15 August 2020 07: 55 New
      +3
      Let the United States first include Israel in this treaty and withdraw its core from Europe.
      1. Alkonavt
        Alkonavt 15 August 2020 08: 53 New
        0
        Quote: siberalt
        Let the United States first include Israel in this treaty and withdraw its core from Europe.

        Now you are being kicked for such a daring offer ... bully
    3. KKND
      KKND 15 August 2020 16: 55 New
      0
      Statistics - statistics never change ...
  2. Lech from Android.
    Lech from Android. 15 August 2020 05: 11 New
    0
    Let's see what the Americans will demand of Russia in the upcoming negotiations on strategic offensive arms ... their pain points will be immediately visible.
    1. Wedmak
      Wedmak 15 August 2020 06: 07 New
      +2
      So they already demand already - the involvement of China (as if we can somehow persuade them) and the inclusion of all the newest developed complexes in the document (read the stop of their development). They are also trying to threaten something.
      1. Lech from Android.
        Lech from Android. 15 August 2020 06: 17 New
        0
        China demands disarmament up to its level of ground forces ... with the inclusion of the process of negotiations of other countries possessing nuclear weapons ... in the current confrontation with the West this is impossible. So this is not a question of experts, but a question of politicians. Russia in no case should be led by the Anglo-Saxons repeating the mistakes of the past ... will be deceived again.
      2. Plate
        Plate 15 August 2020 08: 26 New
        +2
        Yes, we also need to put forward class requirements then. Something like this: "We count not only your warheads as your warheads, but all the warheads of NATO countries, and then distribute with each other as you wish." And so, personally, of course, I would not refuse to cut the Chinese nuclear arsenal ... I'm used to the fact that in the world the leaders in the field of strategic nuclear forces are only us and the Americans.
        1. Wedmak
          Wedmak 15 August 2020 12: 34 New
          +1
          China essentially has nothing to cut. Its arsenal is estimated at about 300 warheads. Due to the secrecy, there is no exact data. But obviously not 1600 as in the USA and Russia. They are not particularly eager to cut it, and they report about it, they say we are with our 3 hundred which side, you deal with your thousands yourself.
  3. NDR-791
    NDR-791 15 August 2020 06: 34 New
    +1
    In fact, everything is logical. On the one hand, warriors and military forces. And it is profitable to design and manufacture. And move closer to us on different kinds of media. On the other hand, "public opinion" is to be removed from their territory, ostensibly in the hope that if something is possible, they will not reach their hands ... Such a position is touching. That is, if you hit with a fist, then it is easy to get a response. But if he threw a stone, then the stone will receive the answer, and no one will care about you. Naive people.
  4. rocket757
    rocket757 15 August 2020 07: 22 New
    +3
    Earlier, in different programs, they often showed ... not polls are different, do not understand what, Americans were asked on the street about banging nuclear weapons against the enemies of America .... here's how the answer was basically "ah, let's bang !!! "
    Was it a lie or was the order then?
    In general, a correctly asked question is almost guaranteed the right answer!
    The average person does not know well who and what it threatens!
    The military, responsible, are very aware of the consequences, they are in no hurry to educate the layman !!!
    So it was, it will be so!
  5. Aleksandr1971
    Aleksandr1971 15 August 2020 07: 52 New
    +1
    The photo below left shows a young Bashar al-Assad
    1. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 15 August 2020 07: 59 New
      +1
      Quote: Aleksandr1971
      The photo below left shows a young Bashar al-Assad

      Well, sho. Moonlighting, young doctor. request
    2. The comment was deleted.
  6. Prisoner
    Prisoner 15 August 2020 09: 28 New
    0
    Would you formulate the question differently, would you like the ground-based bases of American missiles to be moved to the territory of the allies and would receive a different answer. Americans are thoughtful. They understand that if anything "the Kremlin parcel" arrives at them and at these points. winked
  7. RealPilot
    RealPilot 15 August 2020 09: 36 New
    0
    It is clear from this that the USSR and the USA were twins in their own way, but with different "hair colors."
    Look at our late 80s slogans. There is disarmament, glasnost, and the demand for justice for the victims of repression (Black lives matter is very similar to this, just about blacks). Etc.
    And even everyone had their own "exclusiveness", it's just that we have it different, communist (better, fairer, but "Marx's teaching is true because it is true")

    That is, it has long been clear that the Americans, in their own way, are repeating the decline of the Union. Flag in their hands!
    1. KKND
      KKND 15 August 2020 16: 53 New
      0
      Quote: RealPilot
      That is, it has long been clear that the Americans, in their own way, are repeating the decline of the Union. Flag in their hands!

      Yes, I completely agree with you. They rot for a long time and go into the sunset, and it has long been clear to everyone. Already from the 50s of the 20th century, it remains only to wait a little.
  8. dzvero
    dzvero 15 August 2020 11: 18 New
    +1
    Let's say the terrestrial component of the triad is removed. What will be the remainder?
    The marine component is currently the most developed, but very vulnerable from a financial point of view. Any reduction in the fleet's budget will hit both the provision of the submarine on combat duty and the number of boats capable of this. They will shoot from the pier ...
    Strategic bombers ... plus some flexibility when deploying in a special period. Also, they can be more operatively managed than SPs, especially if you need to curtail actions. But in a retaliatory strike situation, there may not be enough time to get out of the strike and in the launch area during takeoff from places of permanent deployment.
    So the disbandment of the ground component of the triad will lead the strategic nuclear forces to a situation where combat readiness can be maintained only at the cost of very serious costs and efforts, but nevertheless their combat stability will be noticeably lower.
  9. Old26
    Old26 15 August 2020 14: 50 New
    +3
    Quote: Wedmak
    and the inclusion of all the latest developed complexes in the document (read the stop of their development).

    These are two different things. The inclusion of the latest developments in the contract means that all 32 deployed Poseidons will be counted as 32 charges. But stopping development is somewhat different. Usually the "stop" is carried out on a parity basis, as for example with the systems "Karlik" - "Courier". They abandoned the "Dwarf", we from the "Courier". The contract may prohibit deployment, but not stop development. This has never happened ...
  10. Old26
    Old26 15 August 2020 18: 16 New
    +1
    Quote: KKND
    Yes, I completely agree with you. They rot for a long time and go into the sunset, and it has long been clear to everyone. Already from the 50s of the 20th century, it remains only to wait a little.

    My colleague spoke about this about forty years ago: for 200 years now, they have been rotting, but at the same time they do not stink, but smell laughing
  11. Pushkowed
    Pushkowed 17 August 2020 08: 42 New
    +1
    The main advantage of the ground component is not mentioned, which will disappear if it is abandoned. If the enemy makes the first strike, then the ground component pulls off a significant part of it.

    If ICBMs manage to launch from their silos before enemy warheads fall on them (retaliatory strike), then it turns out that part of the enemy first strike will fall on empty mines (in fact, to nowhere). If they do not have time ... then at least they will not die in vain. After all, if they were not there, then the enemy warheads spent on the destruction of silos would instead fall on the cities, on the industrial, economic potential and on the mobilization resource.

    The ground component by the mere fact of its existence is capable of greatly weakening the enemy's counter-value strike. The two warheads diverted to destroy each silo are two saved cities. Efficiency is perhaps worse than that of a missile defense system.
  12. g1washntwn
    g1washntwn 17 August 2020 14: 55 New
    +1
    Emnip, in 2015, an American blogger collected signatures on a San Diego beach for a preemptive nuclear strike against Russia, only one couple he interviewed refused. KP carried out a similar provocation in Crimea and the correspondent almost got into a worsening of health. The opinion of the American crowd not to buy new ICBMs only says that it is too expensive for the taxpayer, and not at all that they are white and fluffy. It's just that they are self-confident that they have enough strength to conventionally bend any objectionable. They are "exclusively chosen", God save them and America is uberalles.
  13. zenion
    zenion 17 August 2020 16: 35 New
    0
    All the time weaving in that the USSR may attack the United States. Stalin said and proved, after him everyone said the same thing. The USSR will never be an aggressor, but will definitely respond to aggression. The Iron Lady said - we were never afraid of the USSR as a warlike country, but we are threatened by its progress in production. They will overwhelm capitalism with the production of goods at low prices. In, as they feared Soviet galoshes.